Proverbs 18:14 – A man’s spirit will endure sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?
Lots of folks around us are sick right now. The flu and other yucky-ness is going around. I had my own bout with it the past few days.
The above verse says that a man’s spirit will endure sickness and even carry us through the few days we are ill. We can be sick for a few days, fight a cold or flu and get over it. Our inner spirit isn’t much worse for the wear.
But Solomon says that if our spirit is crushed…who can bear it? It is a sad thought, but very true. We see in the previous chapter of Proverbs that “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22). A vibrant and hopeful spirit can sustain a person and give them the drive to heal physically, but when someone is completely broken inside, their physical condition will many times deteriorate to match their inner state. They just give up physically because they have given up on the inside. David said it this way, “my heart is wounded within me” (Psalm 109:22).
There are those living in our midst who are broken and crushed, and are on the verge of completely falling apart. As we think about those around us who are like that, I want us to consider what the Proverbs says about words and the power of words to those who are broken.
Proverbs 12:25 – Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.
Proverbs 15:13 – A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.
Proverbs 15:23 – To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!
Proverbs 16:23-24 – The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips. Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
If you see those who are broken, remember that “a good word” may help him or her today. Those “gracious words” are like honeycomb and may actually help improve that person’s health. Our words have that power!