13Happiness makes you smile;
sorrow can crush you.
14Anyone with good sense
is eager to learn more,
but fools are hungry
15The poor have a hard life,
but being content is as good
as an endless feast.
Serving men across Canada for the past seventeen years has helped me increase my love for the book of Proverbs. This book is filled with the teaching of wisdom from a father directed to his son. I pray that fathers across Canada share wisdom like this with their children.
Television is filled with commercials featuring people who are smiling because of their latest purchase or experience. If you purchase a certain item, you can even make your teeth look whiter and your smile brighter. But what is behind that smile? What is really going on?
The writer of Proverbs teaches us that “a happy heart makes the face cheerful” (15:13 NIV). Our face will ultimately show what is in our heart. Yes, anyone can put on a brave face for a small period of time, but what is really inside of us will ultimately come out.
The people who are closest to us know this better than anyone else. Family members and close friends can see the real you. They know if you are truly alive or are dying on the inside.
When our hearts are hurting, our spirit is crushed. When this occurs for an extended period of time, our “days are wretched.” When our hearts are alive, the writer reminds us that every day is like a continual feast.
This stark contrast between a crushed spirit and a continual feast is a powerful reminder to the person whose heart is alive, and is a message of hope for the broken and hurting.
I was facing a challenging season in my life—at least, that was my perspective. My wife confronted me one day to remind me of all the blessings that I have in life. She was right. For a period of time, I had forgotten to guard my heart (Proverbs 4:23 NIV). When I started to pay attention to my heart, my outlook on life started to change.
As you look in the mirror today, ask yourself what your face reveals about what is going on in your heart. If you are down, or experiencing depression, be courageous enough to fight for your heart and allow God to bring you to the continual feast that is waiting for you.
Father God. Give me eyes to see how my heart is doing, and the courage and discipline needed to fight for my heart to come alive. May I, deep in my heart, experience your joy.