So, my brother recently had an evaluation at his job. (And it was a good one, of course!) But, we could not help but tease him when he told us of his high marks for his good attitude. "They don't really know you, do they?"
But, afterwards, I couldn't help but think...how true is that of all of us? We all tend to put our best face on at times. My dad use to joke about us putting our Sunday smiles on when we pulled into our church's parking lot. But there was a measure of direction there, too: "Be on your best behavior. We're at church."
It's easy to act like two different people. (Or three or four...) When we feel comfortable and safe, we may let our guard down a bit. Or if we're trying to impress those around us, we may be as professional and courteous as we can be. There are habits we try to hide and words we refrain from saying. There are certain things we would never do around certain peopl4e, not wanting to disappoint them or turn them off.
Where do you put your best face on? Many find it easy to be on their best behavior at their job place. That's where they smile a lot, give a helping hand, and go above and beyond. They use their manners and remember to be courteous and thoughtful. Their co-workers rave about how sweet they are, how helpful. They find friendships among their peers and enjoy sharing tidbits about their life. They spend many of their waking hours with their co-workers and know how important it is to be able to work together in harmony. Thus, they don't spend their time complaining or arguing or griping at one another. They genuinely try to be at their best, to do their part in promoting a healthy working atmosphere.
Others save their best moments for when they're home. They spend so many hours away from their loved ones in a stressful working environment, that they do not wish to bring any of that home. They strive to make those precious times loving their spouses, kids, etc. This is where they feel the most love. They invest in building memories and character. They relax and laugh and live surrounded by their families. The last thing they wish is to tarnish those moments with impatience and selfishness. So they make sure they give only the very best to those they love the most.
Some find it easy to present their best to their friends, those special individuals that choose to spend time with them out of choice, not necessity. Getting together with others of like tastes and interests can be a highlight of our stressed and busy lives. Who wants to drag those moments down with our negativity? So they make sure to treat one another with love and appreciation. No nitpicking, no complaining. Just lots of fun. They build one another up rather than tear each other down.
And of course, we can't forget about those who put on their "Sunday smiles." The church is an easy place to put your best face on. The preacher is watching. The Sunday school teacher is there. All of those other good, Christian people see you there every week. So, you wear your best clothes, sit up straight, watch your mouth and manners. You wouldn't want any of them to see you losing your cool or having a bad attitude. You want them to see you as good, upright person of faith.
So, where do you find yourself putting your smile on? Who sees your best side on a regular basis? What group gets to see the selfless and thoughtful part of you? Where do you find it easy to be on your best behavior?
Or maybe I should ask it this way. Where do you stop caring? At what place do you let your guard down and quit worrying about what people think of you? When do you shrug off what everyone else needs and focus on what you want? (A hot shower, the TV for yourself, quiet time, etc.)
We all need those places where we feel comfortable enough to let our hair down, so to speak, and not worry about always being on our toes. But let's not forget to share our best qualities with every group in our life. Our families might need us to treat them with the same respect and dignity we do our co-workers. Our friends could use the same love and caring we share with our families. Our co-workers may appreciate a reason to enjoy being together, such as we give our friends. And our church may love to see us give more of ourselves rather than just Sunday mornings, like we do in so many other areas in our lives.
So, I hope you always put your "Sunday smiles" on, no matter what day of the week it is or where you're at. I hope the people in your life get to experience you at your best. And I hope that you strive to give your very best to everyone in your life, not just a few. How rich would our lives be if we all did so? How enjoyable would our work environments be? How deep our relationships?
May God bless you richly!
In His Grip!
"A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly."
"And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works."