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April 17 - Proverbs 17

A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.

(Proverbs 17:22 NKJV)

Our thoughts, feelings, emotions, focus, attitude, disposition can have a huge impact on our health. Both physically and spiritually.

To quote the Believers Bible Commentary:

Today's doctors tell us that a hearty laugh is great exercise. When you emit an explosive guffaw, they say, your diaphragm descends deep into your body and your lungs expand, greatly increasing the amount of oxygen being taken into them. At the same time, as it expands sideways, the diaphragm gives your heart a gentle, rhythmic massage. That noble organ responds by beating faster and harder. Circulation speeds up. Liver, stomach, pancreas, spleen, and gall bladder are all stimulated—your entire system gets an invigorating lift. All of which confirms what that sage old Greek, Aristotle, said about laughter more than 2000 years ago: "It is a bodily exercise precious to health."

But not all laughter is healthful. Howard Pollis, a psychology professor at the University of Tennessee, reports that when laughter and smiling are used in an aggressive way—to sneer at, to ridicule, to embarrass—they are "nonhealthy" and can really do more harm to the laugher than the one who is laughed at.

A broken spirit dries the bones.

Blake Clark agrees:

Emotions can make you ill. They can make hair fall out by the handful, bring on splitting headaches, clog nasal passages, make eyes and nose water with asthma and allergies, tighten the throat with laryngitis, make skin break out in a rash, even cause teeth to drop out. Emotions can plague one's insides with ulcers and itises, give wives miscarriages, make husbands impotent—and much more. Emotions can kill.

I find this Proverb interesting as it is mentioned as a statement of fact, but it also is there to draw out an application.

So what action points can we take from this?

Maybe we need to consider our outlook on life and assess what our attitudes are about things. Is the glass half empty? Maybe you need to change to the positive and see it as half full. Negativity can be toxic to the body. Negativity can also spread like a dark cloud into other peoples lives around you.

Let’s consider adjusting our outlook on life and looking to the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus Christ who has all things in hand.

I would also like to encourage you during this time to seek to encourage others. I like what Proverbs 27 says:

As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. – Proverbs 27:17

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