Show Some Heart

Proverbs 27:9

WEBSTER DEFINES THE WORD “cordial” as of or relating to the heart: vital, tending to revive, cheer, or invigorate, heartfelt, gracious. That’s really a mouthful; in fact, that’s worth a few minutes of our time together. Being cordial starts from the heart, as I see it. How do we project cordiality? In answer to that question, allow me to offer four special ingredients:

1. Warm smiles. Now lest you try, let me warn you against faking this. You don’t learn to smile by practicing in front of a mirror. “When the king smiles, there is life; his favor refreshes like a spring rain” (Proverbs 16:15). I’m afraid that some long-faced saints would crack their concrete masks if they smiled—I really am! Nothing repels like a frown . . . or attracts like a smile.

2. Solid handshakes. Now I’m something of a specialist when it comes to handshakes. I’ve experienced about every kind. Some are bone crushers—like a cross between the Incredible Hulk and Goliath (sometimes even from little, elderly ladies!). Others feel completely boneless—like a handful of cool seaweed or a glove full of warm pudding. Rather, it’s one of the ways you can “sharpen the iron” of another with your “iron” (see Proverbs 27:17).

3. Direct eye contact. Accompanying every handshake and conversation, no matter how brief, ought to be an eyeball-to-eyeball encounter. The eyes reflect deep feelings enclosed in the secret chamber of your soul . . . which have no other means of release. This allows others to read your feelings for them. Cordiality cannot be expressed indirectly.

4. Words of encouragement. Keep this fresh, free from clichés, and to the point. Call the person’s name (or ask for it) and use it as you talk. If time permits, mention something you honestly appreciate about him or her. Be specific and natural, but do not try to flatter the person. Let your heart be freely felt as your words flow. “The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense” (Proverbs 27:9).

Today, I urge you to spread some sweetness, sharpen some iron, have a heart, and convey cordiality!

Has God worked in your life in a significant way through Chuck Swindoll and the ministry of Insight for Living? Whatever your story, we’d love for you to tell it to us! Psalm 9:11 tells us to “declare among the peoples His deeds” so others can be encouraged. Submit your story.

Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at

Posted in Friendship, Love and tagged .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.