Welcome to day 17 in our study of Proverbs. I hope you are enjoying these devotions, and most importantly, I hope you are seeing the benefits of spending time with God on a consistent basis. Today’s chapter is packed full of practical advice for life. You can’t read this chapter without seeing some very obvious warnings about decisions and then learn how we can approach them with character and integrity. One verse that I think can be easily over looked in this chapter is verse 22:
Prov. 17:22, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
It’s easy to read that verse and then just keep going because you may not know what it really means. Right? It kind of makes sense why we called this teaching series “Riddles” of the Wise. My heart gives me medicine, and if I’m not careful, my bones dry up? Huh? Lets not skip past this verse flippantly. We should stop here for a moment, and try to understand how it affects us.
If we are honest, all of us can come up with multiple reasons to worry and be stressed out. We can all identify something in our life that isn’t going exactly the way we want it to. We can all create sob stories because we all have them. When we can focus on those things, and roll them over and over in our minds, we eventually become miserable.
Or…we can choose to have a cheerful heart. We can choose to focus on something else that is positive. We can choose to say “thank you” to someone. We can choose to say “thank you” to God. We can choose to change our focus, reminding ourselves of the blessings we have in life. If we do that, it will change us right here, right now, today.
The apostle Paul said the same thing this way:
Philippians 4:8-9, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
Choose to think about good things today. Choose to be thankful today. Choose to praise God today. The choice to live with a cheerful heart will be like good medicine to our souls, healing us from anxiety, sadness, and turmoil. It brings peace from God, and will change us from the inside out.
Have a great day!