7 Minute Read

Today’s Bible Reading:

2 Kings 3:1–4:17
Acts 14:8-28
Psalm 140:1-13
Proverbs 17:22

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Proverbs 17:22 (NLT): “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

What we think about is just as important as what we eat. But, honestly, it’s probably more important.

I’m sure that you have noticed in our American culture that a food or beverage will frequently be labeled as unhealthy. Whether it’s sugar, sugar substitutes, fried foods, or carbonated drinks, we are told to avoid these products because they are not suitable for our bodies.

However, our culture is not nearly as concerned with what our minds feast on. Yet, the verse I have chosen for today reminds us that the state of our minds directly affects the state of our bodies. It tells us that if we are happy, it is like medicine to our bodies. If we are broken and depressed, it adversely affects our bodies in powerful ways.

Proverbs 17:22 (NLT): “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.”

Every one of us has experienced the truth of this verse. 

We can remember spending time with friends and laughing so hard that our cheeks hurt – but we felt so alive! In those joyous times, we typically needed less sleep. Any aches we may have had temporarily disappeared. Our happy hearts made our whole body feel happy.

Yet, we also know what it is like to hear bad news. We know what it’s like to dwell on bad, hurtful information. We might end up feeling defeated, hopeless, anxious, or depressed. Even if the sky was brilliantly blue, the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and everything else was going wonderfully well, we didn’t notice. Our emotional receptors couldn’t receive that positive stimulus. 

Friend, what you think about and how you respond to what happens to you directly affects everything else in your life. If you allow your mind to dwell on the negative, your body will eventually feel the effects … and it’s a downward spiral. Yet, if you insist on thinking only about what is good and right, this too will affect your state of mind and your body.

As a Christian, we struggle with our thought life just like anyone else. Yet, there is no reason that we should be negative. There is so much going for us!

God is our Father.

Nothing can happen to us without coming from His hands.

He has promised to work everything for our good.

Jesus, our older brother, died to make us a part of His family.

God’s Holy Spirit has taken up residence in our body.

One day, we will be with our Lord in Heaven forever and ever.

On and on, we could go.

So, keep your chin up and only think about what is good!

Colossians 3:2-4 (NLT): “Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.”

Philippians 4:8 (NLT): “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Milan Popovic on Unsplash