Have you ever been around one of those people that is just always happy? You know the type. They’re always smiling, always kind and uplifting. They don’t let bad moments ruin their day. They know how to turn the other cheek and keep on going. I don’t think having that kind of attitude is just luck. It’s not like we’re destined to either be happy or not. We get to choose.
In Proverbs chapter 17, verse 22 it says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
What an interesting word picture. At first this one seemed straight forward to me. But after more reflection upon it, I think there is more to it.
A cheerful heart. What exactly is that? The definition of cheerful is as follows:
1a : full of good spirits : merry
1b : ungrudging, cheerful obedience
2: conducive to cheer : likely to dispel gloom or worry
This is what sticks out to me from this definition:
Full of good spirits, ungrudging and likely to dispel gloom. What is interesting about these is that they are action words. Being full of cheer and dispelling gloom are actions. They call us forth to do, to work, to try! It’s likely you haven’t heard the word ungrudging before. Neither had I before working on this post. But I wanted to understand it more. Merriam-Webster defines it as “being without envy or reluctance.”
So to have a cheerful heart we should dispel gloom, we should not allow worry to plant itself in our minds and we should not be envious toward others. Focus on the positive. One of my favorite verses is Phillipians 4:8 which says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
I work in a field of healthcare and I have seen many times how patients that are generally unhappy have a harder time getting better. They can’t see how they will ever recover. Their pain in the now blocks any hope for a future without it.
Henry Ford said it best, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right!”
I often forget it’s my choice to be cheerful. Here are a few things I think of to help me be more cheerful (especially when I don’t feel like it):
1) Life is fleeting. It’s not worth it to me to stay bitter towards someone. Plus, God expects us to forgive others as He has forgiven us!
2) Proverbs 14:30 says, “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” Being envious of others only hurts ourselves.
3) Most things that steal our joy are short term. Solomon said, “Life is a vapor.” It’s over quickly. For me, this reminds me to let go of negativity, fear and uncertainty. The Lord says not to worry about anything. He’s got this!
4) Remember that we are all human! Each of us will make mistakes and let others down. If you’ve let someone down, try to apologize and make it right but don’t beat yourself up! If someone has let you down, give them a break and realize that no one is perfect. When we extend grace to ourselves and others, life is a lot smoother.
5) Jesus died for all! When we get angry at others and feel as if someone else isn’t worth love, we have to remind ourselves that Jesus died for them too. *Maybe it’s not anger we feel toward others… I know sometimes for me, I can feel irritated and impatient with myself and others. I forget my value as a daughter of God and therefore forget the value of others. We are all loved and sought out by our creator, our maker, our Heavenly Father.
Lord, help me decide today to be more cheerful! Help me to love and see others through your eyes. I love you and thank you for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.