Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Good Belly Laugh

"A merry heart does good, like medicine,
But a broken spirit dries the bones." -Proverbs 17:22

"A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken." -Proverbs 15:13

There's nothing as uplifting as hearing my good friend, or my sister laugh uproariously. Both ladies know how to bring the cheer out of the depths of their hearts and let it spill out in side-holding, tear-inducing, I'm-gonna-wet-my-pants laughter. Just let my sister tell you the story of the time the Texas wind blew her nativity set away...."Mary was rolling across the lawn, Joseph was hitting the side of the house, and baby Jesus was no where to be found!"

I love being around cheerful people. God says a merry heart is good medicine and makes a cheerful countenance. What's a countenance? Technically it's your face, but it's also your demeanor, behavior toward others, expression, composure, your bearing. So I think that means what's on the inside comes out in our faces and actions, kind of like the other thing God said about what's in our hearts comes out of our mouths. (See: Luke 6:45, Proverbs 27:19, and Proverbs 4:23.)

As awful as sorrow is, God can use even sadness for our good. We can mourn over our sin. Bad situations can bring us back to God. There are situations were sorrow is better than laughter.

"Sorrow is better than laughter, For by a sad countenance the heart is made better."-Ecclesiastes 7:3

"For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5

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