A Matter of Faith: A merry heart doeth good


From: David Foss

Are we concerned about uplifting the spirits of those who are depressed? Are we willing to sit back and take the time to think of something that would cheer up a depressed person and then follow through with this thought?

A merry heart can help lift someone out of the depths of despair. A cheerful, optimistic heart can certainly give a down-in-the-dumps person a boost from their depressed state. The last person an unhappy individual would probably want to see and hear would be one with a cheerless, pessimistic heart.

Good humor and laughter would be one antidote for depression. Humor and laughter make us feel good inside. Humor from a joyful heart has the power to transform a sad spirit into a happy spirit. Merriness can help to perk up a sad mental state. A merry heart can be an encouragement in getting a depressed person to forget about his or her problem(s). Would God say that it would be a sin to use laughter to cheer someone up? We can at least bring some temporary relief from depression.

A cheerful heart can work wonders by wiping away the unhappy thoughts of depression. Would God be against using this cheerful heart to perform something good? After all, how many times have our sad spirits been lifted by another’s good ones? By laughing with another? Such medicine doesn’t need a doctor’s prescription, doesn’t cost a cent, and doesn’t have a laundry list of harmful side effects!

Of course, we can go overboard and chatter in a silly, scatterbrained way, a way that would not help the depressed person. God wouldn’t want us to use words that would not profit another in some way, (Mattthew 12:36-37).

God has the answer to all problems. Are we willing to be a part of that answer? Are we willing to nurture such a person and maintain a helpful relationship, at least until the depressed person is out of the pit of depression? Remember, God will never forget our good deeds. They are written down in His book — His ledger, (II Corinthians 5:10 Revelation 20:12).

How much of an effort does it take to speak words that are heartening? It is like breathing; it is effortless. All of us can be a blessing if we have a merry heart. Each of us has the power to change a cheerless, down-in-the-mouth inner being into a bright and sunny inner being by being genuinely concerned and willing to do something about it. Be sincere! The downcast can detect a phony a mile away.

What would God think of this attitude? “I don’t like being around depressed people. They just need to snap out of it!” Would God recommend that we just pass by those who are in need of cheering up? Absolutely not! We should be able to attempt some kind words and a smile that would brighten their day. How about using some of God’s words, (Proverbs 25:11).

It what column of God’s ledger will our inaction be placed if we do not lift a pinkie to bring a smile or laughter to a depressed person? Is our inaction to be put in the credit or debit column? Are we to lose reward or gain reward by our inaction? The answer should be quite obvious.

Billions of dollars are being spent every year in an attempt to raise people from the depths of depression; however, there is one person who doesn’t charge a cent for His advice. His advice is not only the very best there is, it is also miraculous! Could anyone factually say that God and His book would not be far more reliable and successful than all the psychologists, psychiatrists, drugs, magazines, shock treatments, tapes, etc.? Would God tell people to ignore Him and His book and go to the way of the world? Can an eggplant produce chicks? Remember, God’s cure-alls will never cause any harmful bodily side effects.

Laughter may not be a cure-all, but it certainly is a good seed, which we should be willing to plants in the hearts of those who are feeling down; after all, God does say: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine …”

Ponder proverbs 15:13a, 15b, 23b; 16:24; 17:22a.


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