If you’re just joining us, welcome. You’ll find a short introduction to the Proverbs reading plan on Day 1.
Section Two—The Inner Life:Wisdom concerning the body, heart, and mind
The proverbs we study this week we are turning our attention inward. We’re examining ourselves in light of the wisdom God’s Word provides on the topics of seduction and strength, health and happiness, adversity and anger, counsel and instruction, and humility and pride.
Day Nine: Health and Happiness
The first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, “What is the chief end of man?” and answers, “To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” This answer assumes two profound truths: we are made to be happy, and we are eternal beings. The Bible has a lot to say about both of these. Our hearts and our health matter to God.
Though we are eternal beings, God created us with bodies. He also tells us that we will have glorified bodies for all eternity, where there will be no more sadness or pain—only joy. Right now, however, we live in a fallen world where our joy is sometimes quelled and our bodies sometimes break.
These proverbs help us live now in light of the eternal comfort that awaits.
20 My son, pay attention to my words;
listen closely to my sayings.
21 Don’t lose sight of them;
keep them within your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them,
and health to one’s whole body.
A tranquil heart is life to the body,
but jealousy is rottenness to the bones.
A man’s spirit can endure sickness,
but who can survive a broken spirit?
Good news from a distant land
is like cold water to a parched throat.
Q. These proverbs hold physical well-being up as a good thing and as a benefit of spiritual health. How are the two connected? What are the spiritual reasons we should care about our physical health?
Q. How would you explain the connection between wise counsel and “health to one’s whole body” (Proverbs 4:22)? Conversely, how can something like envy contribute to poor health?
Q. Where do you turn when your spiritual health needs a lift?
13 Happy is a man who finds wisdom
and who acquires understanding,
14 for she is more profitable than silver,
and her revenue is better than gold.
Proverbs 14:10, 13
10 The heart knows its own bitterness,
and no outsider shares in its joy.
13 Even in laughter a heart may be sad,
and joy may end in grief.
Don’t gloat when your enemy falls,
and don’t let your heart rejoice when he stumbles…
Without revelation people run wild,
but one who listens to instruction will be happy.
Q. We all want to be happy in this life, but Colossians 3:2 tells us to set our minds on things above, not on earthly things. How do you see yourself placing value and identity in your own personal happiness, and how do you measure it?
Q. Put into your own words a definition of godly happiness. What light does Proverbs 14:10&13 shed on true happiness?
Q. Look at Proverbs 29:18. What is the relationship between happiness and obedience to God?