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 - to get the doing of it accomplished?
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 want to see and hear would be a person with a cheerless, pessimistic heart.
Good humor and laughter would be one antidote for depression. Humor and laughter makes us feel good inside. Humor from a joyful heart can transform a sad spirit into a happy spirit. Merriness can help to perk up a sad, mental state of mind. A merry heart can be an encouragement in getting a depressed person to forget about his or her problem or problems. Would God say that it would be a sin to use good humor and laughter to cheer someone up? We can (at least) bring some temporary relief from depression. Humor and laughter can help to cheer up a cheerless soul.
A cheerful heart can work miraculously by wiping away the unhappy thoughts of depression. Would God be against using a cheerful heart to perform something good; after all, how many times have our depressed spirits been uplifted by someone’s good heartfelt humor, by laughing with the person who had a cheerful heart? Such good medicine doesn’t require a doctor’s prescription, doesn’t cost a cent, doesn’t have several harmful side effects either.
Of course we can go overboard and chatter in a silly scatterbrained way, in a way that would not help the depressed person. God wouldn’t want us to use words that would not profit in some way. Matthew 12:36-37
God has an answer to anyone’s problem. Are we willing to (at least) 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 cheerful or humorous? It is like breathing; it is effortless. All of us can be a blessing if we have a merry heart. All of us can help to change a cheerless, down in the mouth inner being into a bright and sunny inner being by being genuinely concerned and willing to actually do something about it. Be sincere! The downcast can detect a phony a mile away - without binoculars.
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 some cheering up? Absolutely not! We should be able to think of some words that would cheer them up. How about using some of God’s Words? Proverbs 25:11
In what column of God’s book or ledger of good and bad works will our inaction be placed if we do not lift a pinkie to bring a smile and laughter to a depressed person? Is our inaction going to be put in the credit column or in the debit column? Are we going to lose reward or gain reward? The answer is 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, 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, prescribed medicine, magazines, shock treatments, tapes, etc.? Would God tell people to ignore Him and His book and go the way of the world? Remember, God’s cure-alls will never cause any bodily harmful side effects either.
Laughter or humor is not a cure-all, but it certainly is a good seed which we should be willing to plant into the hearts of those who are depressed. After all, God does say this: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine...
Ponder Proverbs 15:13a, 15b, 23b; 16:24; 17:22a