What Costs the Least and Does the Most?

Katrina and I are spending Labor Day in cool, drizzly Roan Mountain; but whatever the weather, the day is brightened by a smile. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “The gods we worship write their names on our faces.” Americans spend untold billions of dollars every year on cosmetics. There’s nothing wrong with a little make-up, but Charles Spurgeon suggested that we wash our face every day in a bath of praise.

The Bible says, “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance.” No cosmetics company can do that, but only the inward joy of the Lord. Wilbur D. Nesbit, in a poem often quoted by Cliff Barrows, put it well when he wrote:

The thing that goes the furtherest to making life worthwhile;

That costs the least and does the most is just a pleasant smile.[i]



[i] “The Value of a Smile” by Wilbur D. Nesbit, quoted in The Playground, September, 1908, 18.

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