PROVERBS 17:22 NKJV
22 A merry heart does good, like medicine,
But a broken spirit dries the bones.
I am not opposed to medicine. I have had my share of ups and downs with medication over the years, but for the most part, it has been a help to me.
This proverb tells of a medicine that is not expensive and has no negative side effects. But this medication does not come easy. We have to fight for it.
Now don't stop listening or reading because of that last statement. The medicine here in this verse is a merry heart. A merry or happy heart is good for our physical health. Or, another description of this medicine would be, good on the inside, good on the outside. When the condition of our heart, our inner man, is happy, then our outer man, our bodies, benefit.
We can all relate to a time when the absence of problems or the promise of something good impacted our hearts. We had a song in our spirits and an energy that refreshed and amazed us.
The problem is that life can turn, problems can arise, worries can take over, and our hearts can be negatively impacted. This is where the fight takes place. We have to fight to push away the negative thoughts, worries, and emotions and rejoice in the Lord. Rejoicing and joy go hand in hand. Strength and joy are connected. And a merry, happy joy-filled heart is good medicine.
The other part of this proverb is the warning regarding a broken spirit. When we are sad, remorseful, and down, it impacts us on the inside also. But this proverb says that being broken down on the inside is also harmful for our bodies.
There are some things we can do to cultivate a merry heart. Here is a partial list.
Reading and thinking deeply on God's word. Being thankful to God. Praying and praising God. Walking in love towards other believers. Obeying what You know God wants from you.
Notice none of activities on this list will just fall on us. We have to fight to keep and sustain a merry heart. But the effort is so worth it. Both now in this life and in the life to come.
Thank You, Lord. I have the capacity to have a merry heart. I am not limited by personality or the past. Thank You for Your good medicine.