A Merry Heart Is Good Medicine

The Bible has many passages that teach us common sense wisdom concerning how to think and how to live.  One of the universally recognized keys to good health is to develop and maintain a cheerful attitude.  Sociologists, psychologists, medical doctors, and clergymen can all agree on this matter.  Those who are purposefully cheerful in their attitude and have a positive outlook will suffer less from illnesses and, when they do succumb, will recover sooner than those who possess a gloomy, negative disposition.

To a large degree, our attitude is a matter of choice.  True, there are times when circumstances will be such that it is impossible to be cheerful.  Tears and grief are sometimes on life's menu; and we will all taste this bitterness from time to time.  But while we may visit the "swamp of sadness", we should not put up a mailbox there and make it our residence!  God wants us to practice the arts of our faith with the result that our joy will "be full".  He wants us to "be of good cheer".  Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."  This new life is not just about quantity (as in eternal life) but about quality as well.

Just as there are positive benefits to having a merry heart; there is health robbing power in a broken and bitter spirit.  Immunologists tell us that someone's natural immune system is weakened by sadness and depression.  In other words, the body has a difficult time fighting off germs and other infectious elements when a person is in a depressed state.  There are several accounts where individuals actually died early for no other reason than they became sad and stayed that way until their body just broke down.

There are two powerful disciplines for the development and maintenance of a healthy disposition:  1. Stay in close fellowship with God.  Walking close to the Lord helps us keep things in perspective and employs the fruits of the Spirit to work in our lives.  and ... 2.  Maintain communion with other positive people.  We need to be in good fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ.  They are the ones that can pick us up when we are down, encourage us when we are faltering, and even lovingly rebuke us when we are headed the wrong direction.  David said, "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."  (Ps. 133:1) He also said, "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD".  (Ps. 122:1)

In church, we find a heightened sense of the awareness of God.  We also find fellowship with one another.  These are two good things for staying happy and healthy!  May God bless you as you walk with Him this week and may our fellowship with one another be a source of health and happiness!


 "While we may not be able to control all that happens to us, we can control what happens inside us."  Benjamin Franklin

  "The graveyards are full of indispensible men."  Charles de Gaulle

 "Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires...courage."  Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You got to be careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there."  Yogi Berra