A Merry Heart

“A merry heart doeth good like medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” (Prov.17:22).  The Proverbs are loaded with similar pithy sayings that instruct us in the paths of heavenly wisdom. Other religions have their adages, like the words of Confucious, Buddha, and others but what we find in the book of Proverbs tops them all for they come from an infinitely wise  God.

But let’s examine this verse for a bit. It seems the Lord is trying to inform us of the value of good humor (not the ice cream !) Alright, so maybe that little quip doesn’t exactly qualify for good humor but suffice it to say that there is merit in a good chuckle, God is not averse to it at all. In fact it says here it has a healing effect upon us in some ways !   Typical to a proverb is using some example (here, medicine) to impart to our minds the heavenly truth.  When you have a flu and you take the precribed medication it helps you to breathe or feel better. So, laughter or a good joke does us good !   “A woman once said, ‘My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance !'”    or how about this, “A balanced diet is a nice gooey dessert in each hand !”  and one final one, “Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to be amused” !

Scientists are discovering the truth of this proverb as they concede that laughter has a very positive effect upon us as it can reduce stress, alleviate pain, even help with conflict. A good laugh is said to leave your muscles relaxed for as long as forty five minutes !  It boosts your immune system, triggers the release of endorphins (the “feel good” chemicals in you, and even may help prevent heart attacks by enhancing blood flow and improving the function of blood vessels. So yuck it up often !!  Don’t stay so fixated on your problems that you forget there is a lot of positive and funny things to ponder too.   Because as Solomon continues, “. . . a broken spirit drieth the bones.”

Oh how easy it is living in a sinful world with a sin nature still, and even worshipping alongside sinners at church to dwell on that which is negative and would wear us down if we allow it to do so.   So take your medicine today, laugh a little, enjoy the blessings of God that are in and around you and rejoice in the Lord !!

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