I’ve been going through some scriptures, looking for encouragement and insight into forgiveness, health, true joy and happiness. I’m starting a list here. I’m including verses from the Apocryphal books, which are included in the Catholic Bible but usually not included in Protestant Bibles. There is such wisdom to be gained from these scriptures!
On this page I’m pulling out some of my favorites from a book that goes by many names: Ecclesiasticus, The Wisdom of Jesus Son of Sirach, or just simply, Sirach. It is a collection of sayings and teachings, very much like Proverbs.
Forgive your neighbour the wrong he has done, and then your sins will be pardoned when you pray. ~Sirach 28.2
There is no wealth better than health of body, and no gladness above joy of heart. ~Sirach 30.16
Do not give yourself over to sorrow, and do not distress yourself deliberately. A joyful heart is life itself, and rejoicing lengthens one’s life span. Indulge yourself and take comfort, and remove sorrow far from you, for sorrow has destroyed many, and no advantage ever comes from it. Jealousy and anger shorten life, and anxiety brings on premature old age. Those who are cheerful and merry at the table will benefit from their food.~Sirach 30.21-25
Judge your neighbor’s feelings by your own, and in every manner be thoughtful. ~Sirach 31.15
In everything you do be moderate, and sickness will not overtake you. ~Sirach 31.22b
(Here’s one that just makes me laugh. Yes, it says this in the Bible!🙂 Wine is very life to human beings if taken in moderation. What is life to one who is without wine? It has been created to make people happy. ~Sirach 31. 27
The eyes of the Lord are on those who love him, a mighty shield and a strong support, a shelter from scorching wind and a shade from noonday sun, a guard against stumbling and a help against falling. He lifts up the soul and makes the eyes sparkle; he gives health and life and blessing. ~Sirach 34.19-20
Honor physicians for their services, for the Lord created them; for their gift of healing comes from the Most High, and they are rewarded by the king. ~Sirach 38.1-2
My child, when you are ill, do not delay, but pray to the Lord, and he will heal you. ~Sirach 38.9
(Then) give the physician his place, for the Lord created him; do not let him leave you, for you need him. There may come a time when recovery lies in the hands of physicians, for they too pray to the Lord that he grant them success in diagnosis, and in healing, for the sake of preserving life. ~Sirach 38.12-14
Thanks to the Bible search engine at http://bible.oremus.org and my HarperCollins Study Bible NRSV for helping me pinpoint these scriptures.