The other day as I was cleaning up the contacts on my phone, (I have the tendency to save every phone number) I came across the contact of a person who had hurt me in a very bad way a long time ago. I might even go as far as to say what they had done and said at that time had crushed my spirit. I was amazed how quickly that pain rose up again in my heart when I saw their contact number. I was sure I had extended forgiveness to this person a long time ago but just by looking at their phone number in my contact files, revealed there still existed an awful pain in my spirit.
I don’t think we totally understand the huge amount of damage our hurtful words and actions can do to another person. In our anger and selfishness, we do and say things that can totally destroy a person’s spirit and at the time that happens, we don’t even care if that is what we do. A person who’s had their spirit crushed is in desperate need of the Lord’s healing salve; I quickly found that out.
The Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:8 “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed.”
Paul was saying we have a treasure in these jars of clay bodies of ours, to show that this all-surpassing power we have is from God and not from us. In other words Paul was saying our absolute insufficiency or inability as humans reveals our total sufficiency or ability of God in our lives.
The Lord takes our frail spirits and molds and shape them into becoming more like Him. Yet as the Lord does this, Paul says He (Lord) doesn’t crush us, leave us in despair, abandon us or destroy us. With that being said, then why is it that we so easily do that to one another, and I have to sadly admit I’ve been guilty of doing that to others.
As I looked at that contact of that person who I would say had crushed my spirit with their words and actions, the pain of those actions was still real and alive in my heart. I began to realize I needed the Lord’s immediate healing touch on my spirit, heart, emotions and mind.
Proverbs 17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” Man does not have capacity or ability on his own to bear or support a crushed or wounded spirit. A broken or crushed spirit destroys all the life and vigor in a person. The sense of despair I felt in my spirit that day as recalled what this person had done to me almost made me ill.
Solomon, the man of much wisdom and writer of proverbs, in Proverbs 17:22 gives us what I feel is the prescription for a crushed spirit; a cheerful heart.
Unfortunately there will be people in life, even Christian brothers and sisters, who will say and do things that will bring such hurt and pain to our hearts, we will feel crushed. We must continue to extend forgiveness to them and then we must replace those feelings of a crushed spirit with a cheerful heart.
The Scripture declares the joy of the Lord is our strength. That joy is not found in money, things, possessions or even people, it is only found in the Lord. That joy is able to heal any wounds we may have in our spirits and we need to seek it every day of our lives.
A cheerful heart or a crushed spirit; which one will you choose for your life my friend? My prayer, which I hope and pray is your as well, is that before I say or do anything that could possibly crush someones’ spirit, I will choose instead to find the strength to leave them with a cheerful heart. “Lord I pray, give me the strength to do that!!”
Categories: A Pastor's Blog