Note: Over a month ago, I wrote two Gems – Sound Heart, Good Bones – I and II. But somehow I forgot to publish the second one! So here it is, the second installment of Sound Heart, Good Bones!
(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
So what does a sound heart have to do with good bones? First, let’s examine the structure of Hebrew poetry: One of the main features is parallelism, where the first line of the poem is expressed in some way in the second or more lines.
- Synonymous – the lines express the same thought in different words.
- Antithetical – the lines express opposite thoughts by means of contrast or stating the positive and the negative.
- Synthetic – the next two or three lines develop the thought.
Proverbs 14:30 is definitely antithetical: “A sound heart is the life of the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones.” As discussed in the last Gem, having a sound heart is to have correct thinking that results in proper actions before God and toward others!
www.mayoclinic.org will bring you to the Mayo Clinic website. Click on Patient Care and Health Info, then Stress Management, then Show More Related Content, then Positive Thinking. Here is something that caught my eye in the article:
Researchers continue to explore the effects of positive thinking and optimism on health. Health benefits that positive thinking may provide include: ✓ Increased life span ✓ Lower rates of depression ✓ Lower levels of distress ✓ Greater resistance to the common cold ✓ Better psychological and physical well-being ✓ Better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease ✓ Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
This is what a sound heart can do for your bones (your whole physical self)!
The opposite of sound heart thinking is dwelling on negative things, like envy. But there is a lot more negativity on which to dwell than envy! They are commonly known as The Seven Deadly Sins: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride! Why pick on envy? King Solomon wrote this proverb, and Solomon’s 40 year reign over Israel was the most prosperous time in the nation’s history. It is written in II Chronicles 1:15, “…the king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stones….” But even in such prosperity, there were still people who were poor and sick, and such poverty and ill health might have been caused by their sinful heart outlook on life! They could very well have been envious of those who enjoyed prosperity and good health! So envy was chosen as the antithesis for a sound heart.
But any pronounced sinful thinking can be substituted for envy in this proverb – any one of the Seven Deadly Sins mentioned before, and a lot more sinful focuses! And if this is true, then pronounced sinful thinking will result in:
✓ Shortened life span ✓ Increased rates of depression ✓ Raised levels of distress ✓ Less resistance to the common cold ✓ Worse psychological and physical well-being ✓ Poorer cardiovascular health and increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease ✓ Decreased coping skills during hardships and times of stress [such as the Corona virus pandemic]
This type of sinful negative thinking produces “…rottenness to the bones…”!
Is it any wonder that Saint Paul would stress to the Philippi Christians in Philippians 4:8:
Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things...
…and nothing else!
And, by the way, the best thing upon which to meditate, the best thing to give you a sound heart and good bones…….is God’s Word! Fill your life with Scripture, and you will go a long way to have healthy unrotten bones!