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Sunday, December 17, 2006


The word cheer has several definitions, the two chosen are: 1-something that gives comfort or joy, and 2-a state of feeling or spirits. Then to be cheerful is to be full of cheer or to be in good spirits and it can have an element of being wholehearted or ungrudging in that respect. This begs the question as to whether the condition of cheerfulness depends totally on the surrounding conditions, a combination of conditions and choice or choice alone?

We know that when good things happen it can bring about cheerfulness, but what about just choosing to be cheerful? Consider a quote from an ancient book: “All the days of the poor are hard, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast.” Pondering the word ‘poor’, it would seem that the ‘continual feast’ is speaking of more than just food. The attitude would seem at the root of this ‘continual feast’ and that would be a choice. A person will generally find what they are looking for – in this case, cheer or cheerlessness, if the search is intensive and extensive enough.

What is the effect of a cheerful heart? Another quote from an ancient wise man: “A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.” I’ve heard it said that we should act in the direction we wish to move. Is that faking it? To me it is simply making a choice to no longer live in the dungeon of the downcast spirit.

Consider this final quote, attributed to Jesus Christ: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” A clear message has been given to us all and it comes in several parts. 1-Peace is found only in Jesus. 2-We shall have tribulation in this world. 3-Jesus has overcome the world. 4-We have a choice as to whether we accept this peace. 5-When scripture states to be of good cheer, it wouldn’t say that if it weren’t possible to obtain.

Jesus told His disciples at other times in dire circumstances to be of good cheer. It is possible for us today to be of good cheer, not just in the Christmas season but also all year long – it is our choice. ec


Blogger Jayleigh said...

Thanks for this!

12/17/2006 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

Jayleigh - So glad it meant something to you. Sometimes I have to CHOOSE to be cheerful many times a day, sometimes when I would rather be otherwise. :) ec

12/17/2006 11:27:00 PM  
Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I believe that cheer is always a choice. How else could Christian Martyrs being burned alive in Rome’s coliseum sing hymns?

12/18/2006 02:09:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

SSN - Very true - it is hard to face the day without some cheerfulness, but much more cheerfulness and peace is required when being burned for what you believe. ec

12/18/2006 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger Bonita said...

Temperment and disposition play a role in one's predisposition toward hardship; but, I would agree that cultivating a good relationship with our creator will help to maintain good cheer. Especially, during this Christmas season, one can foster this spirit of good cheer.

12/19/2006 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

Bonita - Yes, we can cultivate the cheer - cultivation implies both choice and a lot of work, and it takes both to be the cheerful person we should be. ec

12/20/2006 10:57:00 PM  

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