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October 2, 1998

Just What the Doctor Ordered

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A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. PROVERBS 17:22
It’s sometimes difficult to find much cheer on the job. Our work is often tedious. Coworkers can be meanspirited and crude. Unreasonable deadlines cut into our personal time. Bosses are sometimes incompetent, critical, or unfair. Budgets are tight and clients get frustrated. You get the picture.
As a result, we often walk around looking like we have a stomachache, practically champing at the bit so we can jump down the throat of the next person who asks us for something.
That, the writer of Proverbs says, is not the way it should be. Thousands of years before twentieth-century medical and mental health researchers determined that laughter played a significant role in physical well-being, Solomon had already figured out that a “cheerful heart promotes health while a dispirited one prompts illness.””
Ours is a health-conscious culture. We exercise. We watch our cholesterol and fat intake. We monitor our blood pressure. We try to lower the stress in our lives. We eat fruits and vegetables and take daily vitamins. But we often overlook one of the best health remedies of all—laughter.
Few things are more disheartening than to see a professed follower of Christ who walks around all day looking as if he just lost his best friend. Such a demeanor certainly does nothing to make his coworkers want to share his faith; why would they want what he has if it makes him so gloomy? On the other hand, few things are more attractive than a believer whose face reflects the joy she feels in her heart, joy that comes solely from knowing Jesus personally.
Take a look in the mirror. Do you look like you have a perpetual stomachache? Lighten up. Laugh a little. It’s just what the doctor ordered.

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