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Priceless Results

Today's Devotional

A cheerful heart is good medicine. Proverbs 17:22

On every school day for three years, Colleen has been dressing up in a different costume or mask to greet her children as they exit the school bus each afternoon. It brightens the day of everyone on the bus—including the bus driver: “[She] bring[s] so much joy to the kids on my bus, it’s amazing. I love that.” Colleen’s children agree.

It all started when Colleen began fostering children. Knowing how difficult it was to be separated from parents and to attend a new school, she began greeting the kids in a costume. After three days of doing so, the kids didn’t want her to stop. So Colleen continued. It was an investment of time and money at thrift shops, but, as reporter Meredith TerHaar describes, it brought a “priceless result: happiness.”

One little verse amid a book of wise and witty advice, largely by King Solomon to his son, sums up the results of this mom’s antics: “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22). By bringing cheer to all her kids (biological, adopted, and foster), she hoped to prevent crushed spirits.

The source of true and lasting joy is God through the Holy Spirit (Luke 10:21; Galatians 5:22). The Spirit enables us to shine God’s light as we strive to bring joy to others, a joy that offers hope and strength to face trials.

When has someone done something to bring you joy? What was the result?

Dear Father, thank You for giving me joy. Help me to spread it to others.


While the sayings in the book of Proverbs aren’t always arranged in an easy-to-discern order, often themes unite sections of proverbs. Chapter 17 focuses on relationships. The writer warns against the damage caused by being vindictive (vv. 9, 13) or willfully stubborn (vv. 10–12), quarreling (vv. 14, 19), unjust behavior (v. 15), and misusing money (v. 16). Conversely, loyal and protective relationships are lifted up (vv. 17–18). Verses 20–22 focus on how our hearts can shape our lives and relationships. A corrupt or foolish heart brings trouble and suffering (vv. 20–21), while a “cheerful heart is good medicine” (v. 22). So perhaps verse 22 has in mind the joy and healing that healthy relationships can bring.

For further study, enjoy this ODBU lecture on the book of Proverbs..

By |2023-11-20T01:33:08-05:00November 20th, 2023|
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