Proverbs 17:22 tells us: "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." With all the events going on in our world right now, we need a dose of that medicine!
See, the thing about a merry heart is it is not only good for you, but it is good medicine for those around you. I had an employee who practiced this principle. Her merry heart influenced her co-workers and our customers. It was contagious and helped create a caring and fun atmosphere for our customers.
A cheerful disposition is good for your health;
gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.
The word merry comes from an old English word "myrige" or "merige" meaning, giving pleasure or delightful. You all know that delightful is one of my favorite words!
The Hebrew word merry is "meah", meaning joyful, merry, or glad. This exact word is only used one other time in the bible. It is in Proverbs 15:13. "A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, But by sorrow of the heart, the spirit is broken." Who remembers the line for the children's song "If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it!"
According to Merriam-Webster, merry means full of gaiety or high spirits. Dictionary.com describes it as meaning full of cheerfulness or gaiety, joyous in disposition or spirit, laughingly happy, mirthful, festively joyous, and hilarious.
A happy heart is good medicine and
a joyful mind causes healing
Here are five ways you can use to maintain a merry heart.
So you know what a merry heart is, and how important it is, but how do you get and keep it that way? Here area few ways I use to accomplish this.
- Develop a daily habit of Praise and Thanksgiving. My "go-to" number one solution for when I'm feeling down is this. I put on some good praise and worship music and start thanking God. I always end up feeling better and get a better outlook on my life. A gratitude journal is a wonderful way to do this.
- Have an attitude of expectation and anticipation. Discouragement and disappointment are big determents to a merry heart. You can counteract this by raising your expectations and anticipation of good things to come. Review the promises God has given you through His word. He is faithful to do all He said He would.
- Exercising forgiveness and mercy: Repent and then forgive yourself. God exercises forgiveness and mercy toward you, and He expects you to do the same. Mark 12:31 says to love your neighbor as you love yourself. A big part of loving yourself is forgiving and putting the past behind you. Maintaining a merry heart is difficult when you are bogged down in your past failures.
- Practice laughter: Make laughing a part of your day, even if you don't feel like it. Need some help getting started? Watch this. https://youtu.be/J8lgoIZiriQ
- Find a reason to celebrate and do it often. The Jews celebrate Shabbat weekly.
Richard Siegel describes the Friday night Shabbat like this:
Consider doing your own version of Shabbat. Light some candles, have a good meal, bless your children, praise your spouse, and thank the Lord.
A joyful, cheerful heart brings healing to both body and soul.
But the one whose heart is crushed
struggles with sickness and depression.
Deuteronomy 16:15 says, "because the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice." The word rejoice used here is from the same root word as merry.
This scripture is talking about celebrating the Harvest Festival or the Feast of Tabernacles. In the U.S., the closest national holiday we have is Thanksgiving. So, I'm calling this year's Thanksgiving Challenge: A Merry Heart.
I am challenging myself (and you) to look for the things that help maintain that merry heart we need. I'll be posting on Facebook and Instagram using #amerryheart. I invite you to join the challenge and share what makes your heart merry.
Let's flood the airwaves and social media with things that cause a merry heart. The world needs a good dose of that medicine right now, and we, as believers, are equipped and commissioned to deliver it.
Take your medicine and expect healing for your body and soul.
Every morning declare:
- I choose to have a merry heart and cheerful disposition.
- I will exercise forgiveness and mercy to myself and those around me.
- I will find a reason to celebrate.
- I will find a share laughter with my friends and family.
- I will take time to stop and thank God often.
- I will experience joy unspeakable and full of glory, because know I am a child of God.
- Today. I will begin to see an improvement in my health, as I follow the prescription God gave in His word.
I really enjoyed your Merry Heart segment. I lost my 35 year old son 11 months ago, and grieving his loss has been a difficult journey. I’m attending a grief share class and personal counseling, and I’m doing everything possible to find my joy again. So thank you for this encouraging and uplifting blog.