“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”Proverbs 17:22 (King James Version)
The King James Version is much sharper! So seriously, do we have a “merry heart” or a “broken spirit?” The late Art Linkletter borrowed this proverb when he wrote “Laughter is the best medicine.” Having experienced two different cancers and series of chemotherapy, I can attest that this is so. Our attitude is critical to well-being. We need to laugh a little!
I think of some of the weddings for which I’ve been the officiant. The bride who blew bubbles going down the aisle. The maid of honor who stuck out her tongue at her boyfriend. The wedding party of twelve, all of whom stood in tears, bawling at the altar. Pass the tissue please. The MOTB who stood on the steps of Greensburg Catholic Cathedral announcing to one and all “my daughter is marrying a SOB.” Oh yeah. Gotta laugh. And, the older I get, the easier it is to laugh, particularly at yourself. It’s good medicine.
On the contrary, a “broken spirit,” like broken pottery, leads to despair and misery. All of us have known an “Eyore,” the burro in Winnie the Pooh whose “ain’t it awful” attitude is beautifully summed up in “Eyore!” God wants joy in our lives. The second fruit of the spirit is “joy.” “Love, joy, peace, patience…” The very idea of a “long faced Methodist” is a contradiction in terms. So take your medicine. Smile. Laugh. It’s good for you!
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