Proverbs 17:22a - A Merry, Joyful, Happy, Cheerful Heart Is Like Medicine.

Pro.17:22a: A Merry, Joyful, Happy, Cheerful Heart Is Like

Proverbs 17:22 (KJV) A merry heart doeth good like a medicine:
but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

Proverbs 17:22 (NIV) A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a
crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Proverbs 17:22 (NASB)  A joyful heart is good medicine, But a
broken spirit dries up the bones.

Proverbs 17:22 (NCV) A happy heart is like good medicine, but a
broken spirit drains your strength.

Proverbs 17:22 (NRSV)  A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but
a downcast spirit dries up the bones.

Proverbs 17:22 (GWT)  A joyful heart is good medicine, but
depression drains one's strength.

Proverbs 17:22 (NLT) A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a
broken spirit saps a person's strength.

Proverbs 17:22 (TLB) A cheerful heart does good like medicine,
but a broken spirit makes one sick.

A merry heart i.e. happy, rejoicing heart. [SDA Commentary]

To insist on rejoicing in the Lord, even when troubled or sick,
is to release forces that will soothe and strengthen both mind and
body. Cheerfulness often accomplishes what other remedies are
powerless to achieve. [SDA Commentary]

To be cheerful is to be ready to greet others with a welcome, a
word of encouragement, an enthusiasm for the task at hand, and a
positive outlook on the future. Such people are as welcome as
pain-relieving medicine. [Life Application SB]

The influence of the mind on the body, as well as of the body on
the mind, should be emphasized. The electric power of the brain,
promoted by mental activity, vitalizes the whole system, and is thus an
invaluable aid in resisting disease.... There is a physiological truth--truth
that we need to consider--in the scripture, "A merry [rejoicing]
heart doeth good like a medicine." Proverbs 17:22.  "Let thine heart
keep My commandments," God says; "for length of days, and years of
life, and peace, shall they add to thee." "They are life unto those
that find them, and health to all their flesh." "Pleasant words" the
Scriptures declare to be not only "sweet to the soul," but "health to the
bones." Proverbs 3:1, 2, margin; 4:22; 16:24.  Understand the deep truth
underlying the Bible statement that with God "is the fountain of life."
Psalm 36:9. Not only is He the originator of all, but He is the life
of everything that lives. It is His life that we receive in the
sunshine, in the pure, sweet air, in the food which builds up our bodies
and sustains our strength. It is by His life that we exist, hour by
hour, moment by moment. Except as perverted by sin, all His gifts tend
to life, to health and joy.... True beauty will be secured, not in
marring God's work, but in coming into harmony with the laws of Him who
created all things, and who finds pleasure in their beauty and
perfection.  {Ed 197, 8}

The relation that exists between the mind and the body is very
intimate. When one is affected, the other sympathizes. The condition of
the mind affects the health to a far greater degree than many
realize. Many of the diseases from which men suffer are the result of
mental depression. Grief, anxiety, discontent, remorse, guilt,
distrust, all tend to break down the life forces and to invite decay and
death.  Disease is sometimes produced, and is often greatly aggravated,
by the imagination. Many are lifelong invalids who might be well if
they only thought so. Many imagine that every slight exposure will
cause illness, and the evil effect is produced because it is expected.
Many die from disease the cause of which is wholly imaginary.
Courage, hope, faith, sympathy, love, promote health and prolong life. A
contented mind, a cheerful spirit, is health to the body and strength to
the soul. "A merry [rejoicing] heart doeth good like a medicine."
Proverbs 17:22.  In the treatment of the sick the effect of mental
influence should not be overlooked. Rightly used, this influence affords
one of the most effective agencies for combating disease. {MH 241}

                             Smile Research
    Do you want to make a difference in your world today? One
simple action - smiling - will do it. You might think that a smile
isn't really that important, but let me tell you about some simple
experiments performed by a psychologist in New York City that may change
your mind.
    A young woman who was doing smile research would stand
waiting for an elevator in a department store. When another woman came
to ride the elevator also, the researcher would simply smile at her
but would say nothing. Once in the elevator, the researcher asked
the other woman for directions. The interesting finding was that
when smiled at by the researcher the other person would provide the
requested assistance much more often than if she had not first been given
a smile before boarding the elevator. There may be a number of
explanations as to why the experiment worked the way it did, but the only
planned difference in the two situations was whether or not a smile was
    A smile is so easy to produce. You all know how to do it. In
fact, smiling comes naturally to babies, not because they see other
people smile, but because they come "programmed" to smile - babies who
are blind from birth smile at the same age as those who can see.
People can create ugly smiles, but those are sneers and leers. When you
give the world the real smiles that you are born with, you make those
around you feel better; and, since it is hard for you to be grumpy when
you are smiling, you feel better too!
    With all that we as Christians have to be thankful for, we
should never stop smiling in our hearts. And those heart smiles will
often erupt onto our faces, giving us a special radiance resulting
from feeling the joy of Jesus deep in our heart. Do you know the
song, "Sing and Smile and Pray ... " ? Those three things go together.
When you have talked to Jesus about things He keeps you singing; and
when you have a song in your heart your face will surely show it.
[Glimpses Of God's Love by J & P Tucker]

                             Laugh A Little
    In recent years, grants have been awarded to 125 hospitals,
nursing homes, and other agencies to start humor programs for their
patients. Specifically, here's what a little laughter can do for you:
    Laughter helps you relax and unwind. Just try lifting
anything heavy when you are enjoying a good belly laugh. You cannot do it
because your large muscles are totally relaxed. The only ones working
are some muscles in your face and your abdomen.
    Laughter strengthens the immune system. Research shows that
when you have a really good laugh, the body produces more
immunoglobulin A, the body's warrior against upper respiratory infections.
    Laughter improves your circulation by increasing the heart
rate and boosting the oxygen supply to the brain. This is part of
what helps you relax and calm down.
    Laughter is a way to live an enriched life instead of just
maintaining your existence, getting through each day somehow. Laughter is a
key to finding pleasure, and when you have to endure mental and
emotional pain, you need all the pleasure you can get. I am not talking
about being "lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God" (2 Tim.
3:4), or "enjoy[ing] the passing pleasures of sin" (Heb. 11:25). Those
verses describe the kind of hedonism that leaves God out, but there are
unlimited legitimate pleasures you can enjoy by letting God in. For
example: enjoying a tasty meal, listening to favorite music, watching the
embers of a fire, marveling at the leaves turning color in the fall,
and seeing the humor that is all around us.
    All of these are pleasure-moments God wants us to enjoy, and
we can do so if we learn to fine-tune the pleasure channels of our
lives to His frequency. by Barbara Johnson [Passages Of Life SB]

                              A Merry Heart
    More and more scientific research supports the healthy way
of living described in the Bible. You undoubtedly already know
about the value of eating the proper foods, drinking enough good
water, getting an adequate amount of rest, breathing plenty of fresh
air, and exercising regularly. But have you ever thought about the
health-giving value of being merry? Having a merry heart is more than just
being happy and content. Merriment also includes having a sense of
humor and the ability to laugh.
    Some sad souls have gone so far as to advise that "true"
Christians should always be serious and never laugh. But that is not what
the Bible teaches. In fact, according to our text for today, the
bones of such a person may end up prematurely dry-as in dead.
    Recent research has provided a direct link between merriment
and health. It turns out that a merry heart actually makes you less
likely to get sick because it improves the functioning of your immune
system. Your body is then better able to prevent, as well as to fight,
disease. For example, someone with a cheerful attitude toward life is
less likely to have such stress-related health problems as ulcers and
cold sores than is someone with a gloomy outlook on life. "Mirthful
laughter" actually reduces the chemical factors associated with stress in
the body. Your body is able to heal itself and make you feel better
faster. Rather than adopt a happy attitude, however, some people feel
more comfortable asking a pharmacist for a pill to treat their
symptoms when all they need is a good laugh.
    By the way, when we talk about merriment here, we are not
talking about silliness. Silly chatter and giggling often are associated
with cruel or inappropriate jokes or gossip. Laughter that comes at
the expense of other people does not create a merry heart-and it
certainly is not health-producing.
    A merry heart does you good-like a medicine. And unlike
pills and syrups, you don't have to swallow it. It's natural, and it's
free. [Nature Quest by J & P Tucker]

                           Adjust Your Attitude!
    When we get up in the morning, we have just so much energy.
We can spend that energy creatively, seeking positive solutions, or
we can spend it dragging ourselves down with negative thinking.
Either way, we may still be tired at the end of the day. But in the
first instance, we will have accomplished something and made progress.
In the other, we will have plodded along and managed to make
ourselves not only tired, but depressed as well!
    Half the battle in solving problems is our attitude. We are
not just pumping ourselves full of sunshine when we say, "Think
YES!" How we think about a situation usually dictates the course we
will take-and sometimes, when we get bogged down in all the tangle of
detail, we need a friend who will help us think clearly about all
aspects of the situation, refocusing our attention from the obstacles to
the possibilities in striving for proper choices and desired goals.
by Gloria Gaither [Passages Of Life SB]

           Heart Medicine for Depression: Pro.15:13; 17:22
    Have you ever had one of those days when nothing went right?
You try to maintain a good attitude but then that sours with the
latest misfortune. Maintaining a cheerful perspective can make a bad
situation seem better and can also encourage others to focus on the
positive things in life. On the other hand, a negative attitude deepens
our own depression and only makes life harder for those who cross
our path. What kind of person are you? Do you spread joy and
happiness to your family and friends, or do you bring others down? Find
your sense of joy in God's goodness to you, and then share the
positive perspective he gives you with others.
*	What time of day or day of the week are you most likely to
feel depressed? What takes your cheer away?
*	How can you best guard against depression and discouragement?
*	Who could you encourage today with a cheerful word? [Small
Group SB]