Fruit of the Spirit Special: Joy
READ: Proverbs 17
VERSE: “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (vs 22)
Winning is great. I’m an extremely competitive person, so winning is usually my number 1 goal when it comes to almost any sport or even a mundane task. There is a lot of joy and glory that comes from winning or being first, and I think that is why winning is so important to a lot of people. Winning feels great.
Proverbs 17 is full of wisdom and teaching moments that are applicable to various scenarios in our lives. While verse 22 isn’t specific to sports and competition, I think that it makes a great point about winning and losing. This verse isn’t saying that joy from winning or experiencing something great is bad; rather – it’s actually good for you! The writer says that joy is good medicine. It has healing properties. Being truly happy that you won can lift spirits and create team bonding that may have been lacking before.
However, losing can often bring crushed spirits. Maybe you haven’t won a single game yet. Or you were on a winning streak and now your momentum is gone. The writer of this chapter warns us against crushed spirits as they “dry up our bones.” While these teachings are easier said than done, I think that the writer provides us with a great perspective to consider next time we lose. If we lose, we should not let it kill our spirits, but rather motivate us to do better and to work together as a team.
As Christians we are part of the grand race that is set before us and the finish line is Jesus’ second coming. We must not let losing or falling behind dry up our bones and keep us from pushing on. We need the joy that we experience through Christ to fill our hearts and minds with good medicine. Only this can help us finish the race and be in true fellowship with Christ.
So, next time you win – be joyful! Don’t rub it in the losing team’s face, but rejoice with your teammates and be happy about the work that you have done to achieve victory. And next time you lose, be content with the outcome. Don’t let it bring you down and discourage you from doing your best next time. Fill your souls with the good medicine (joy) and don’t dry out your bones.