The Best Medicine.
“A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones.” – Proverbs 14:30 NLT
We spend a fortune on medicine, herbs, minerals, vitamins, and supplements of all kinds. Every day we are bombarded with ads making us all kinds of promises regarding the benefits of a certain pill, mix, nutrient or miracle elixir. And we buy them – by the truck loads. Most fail to deliver on their promises. Whether they’re offering a thicker head of hair, more energy, a faster metabolism, a way to burn fat, improve our memory or increase our sexual stamina, they usually don’t measure up to their billing.
The truth is, a lot of our problem has less to do with what we take into our mouths or rub on our skin, than it has to do with the condition of our hearts. This proverb puts it in very simple terms; no warning label required, no scary side effects to worry about. “A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body.” The NET Bible translates this verse, “A tranquil spirit revives the body.” In other words, a healthy spirit is tranquil, bringing peace to the body. When we find ourselves at peace with our live and content with our circumstances, our bodies benefit greatly. But a lot of the reason we end up buying so many supplements and miracle elixirs is because we are trying to stem off the side effects of our discontented, peace-poor hearts. We are full of anxiety, stress, and tension, finding ourselves unable to sleep soundly or rest fully. Exhausted, we turn to vitamins and supplements, medicine and minerals to help us recover and rejuvenate. But there isn’t pill or potion in the world that can heal a heart that lacks peace.
At the core of it all is our struggle with discontentment, jealousy, pride, envy, lust, and a whole host of other maladies of the heart. We are a people who lack peace because we don’t know how to find our satisfaction with God. Our eyes are always focused on others, longingly looking at what they have and comparing their lot in life with our own. The result is jealousy and as this proverb states, “jealousy is like cancer in the bones.” It destroys us from the inside out and there’s nothing we can take that will heal it. The word translated “jealousy” or “envy” in this verse describes an intense and sometimes violent excitement and desire that is never satisfied. And that lack of satisfaction produces a lack of peace. Rather than experiencing tranquility, our spirits become anxious and, ultimately, angry. Our jealousy and envy is a symptom of our unhappiness with God. He has not provided enough for us. He has proven to be a lousy Father to us. He has failed to give us what we believe is due us. Rather than experiencing contentment with His unfailing love, mercy, grace, and goodness, we look around us and begin to make a list of all that’s missing from our lives that we just can’t seem to live without. Our desires turn into demands. Our demands turn into disappointments. Our disappointments turn into a destructive, debilitating cancer that invades our bodies and wreaks havoc on our hearts.
But a peaceful heart and a tranquil spirit contain powerful properties that produce guaranteed results. Much of what ails us is spiritual, not physical. It’s a health problem related to our spirits, not our bodies. But our bodies suffer because they are intrinsically linked to our spirits. It is a peaceful heart that leads to a healthy body. If we spent more time concentrating on our spiritual well-being, we would probably spend far less money on supplements to address our physical maladies, and have far more room in our medicine cabinets.
Father, peace of heart and tranquility of soul. That’s what we need. And the only place we can get it is from You. It doesn’t come in a bottle, pill, pouch, or with a prescription. It comes from spending time with You and learning to accept and appreciate Your unfailing love for us – regardless of what we might see going on around us. Your Son came that we might have peace. He died so that we might have tranquility of soul. May that be true in our lives today. Amen.
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men