The Best Medicine [Pro 17:22]


On several occasions and at different time people in my church, place of work and my neighbors at home do ask me the secret of my beauty and the power behind my daily brightness and youthfulness.

Growing up, my grandmother taught me one of the things that made her live longer than her friends, from the scripture. According to her, “the secret of my beauty is cheerfulness” was the topic for that day. She opened the bible to the book of Prov. 17:22. And thus she taught me this passage;

Pro 17:22 – A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.

The famous commentator, Matthew Henry writes on the subject saying;

It is healthful and Godly to be cheerful. The Lord made the body, and has provided for it, not only meat and produce, but medicine, and has made it clear to us that the best medication for the body is a merry heart, not a heart addictively committed to vanity, worldly, sensual mirth. Solomon himself said of mirth, “it is not medicine, but madness; it is not food, but poison; what doth it? But he means a heart rejoicing in God, and serving him with gladness, and then taking the comfort of outward enjoyments and particularly that of pleasant conversation. It is of a great divinity that God gives us leave to be cheerful and reason to be cheerful, especially by his grace giving us hearts to be cheerful. In fact, a cheerful heart acts as a catalyst to medicine process of healing in the body ailment. It makes physic more efficient. Or it does well as a medicine to the body, making it easy and fit for business. But, if mirth be a medicine, we need to understand its recreational ability and therefore should not be used sparingly, occasionally or as prescribed regimen.”
(Commentary on the Whole Bible, vol. 3)

It should be a daily heart disposition and condition fueled by the joy of the Holy Ghost (Nehemiah 10:8, Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength).

In a research project carried out by some psychologists few years ago, two people facing the same medical challenge were placed in different rooms after a surgery to find out what helps healing process most. In room A, the television placed there was tuned to News station while in room B, a comedy and entertaining station. After a certain period of time, it was observed that the patient in the room B improved steadily and recovered faster than the patient in room A.

Matthew Henry also said of sorrow,

The sorrows and anxiety of the mind often contribute very much to the sickness of the body: A broken spirit, sunk by the burden of afflictions, and especially a conscience wounded with the sense of guilt and fear of wrath, dries the bones, wastes the radical moisture, exhausts the very marrow, and makes the body a mere skeleton. We should therefore watch and pray against all melancholy dispositions, for they lead us into trouble as well as into temptation. (Commentary on the Whole Bible, vol. 3)

Ever since, I have being living by this principle and I shun every possible seed of bitterness and anger. I ensured I surrounded myself with God fearing and good people. But most especially, I spend a lot of quality time in the presence of the Holy Spirit in the place of fellowship. He is the only one that gives eternal and ever flowing joy.

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