Question: I’ve been happier than ever since finding Jesus, but my life still isn’t perfect and sometimes it gets me down. My friends try to cheer me up and tell me to “put on my happy face,” but how can I smile and look happy when I really don’t feel that way? Wouldn’t that be hypocritical?
Answer: No, if you have received Jesus into your heart it is not being hypocritical to put on a happy face even when you’re sad, because it’s His happiness that you’re showing others through your joyful countenance. You’re not being hypocritical, but to the contrary you’re being a wonderful example of Jesus shining through you. That happy face isn’t yours but His—the beauty of Jesus as seen in you. “Not I, but Christ who lives within me” (Galatians 2:20).
It’s part of love when you’re happy around other people, smiling even when you don’t really feel like it. It’s part of showing love and consideration to others when your expression doesn’t make them feel bad or give the impression that you don’t like them or are irritated or being critical of them. When you put on a happy face even when your mind and spirit are in the dumps, that is part of showing people the happiness and joy and love of the Lord. He’s showing His love through you, in spite of yourself.
You need to be honest with Jesus about whatever it is that’s making you sad, so He can help you fix the problem. And if there is someone else who is able to help you sort things out, also talk with them about it. There’s a time to look pleasant and smile—which is most of the time in front of others—and there’s a time to turn to the Lord and others for help, confessing your faults one to another and praying for one another, bearing each other’s burdens in love (James 5:16; Galatians 6:2).
Broadcasting your problems to the whole world through your expression doesn’t help anyone, but letting Jesus shine through you no matter how you feel helps everyone!