That is the question presented in Proverbs 18:14. A strong, courageous spirit can enable a person to endure a tremendous amount of suffering. It can inspire them to go on in spite of the pain. But what happens when the spirit itself is wounded?
The same idea is seen in the question presented by Jesus in Mark 9:50,“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again?” Salt has the ability to purify, preserve, and enhance flavor and influences whatever it touches. But what happens when the salt itself loses its saltiness? What do you do when that upon which other things depend breaks down?
The message of Proverbs 18:14 is that a person can get along with physical pain if they have to. Many do. But what do you do when the pain goes deeper, all the way down into your spirit to the very core of your being? Who can bear a wounded spirit?
A wounded spirit is an internal injury. It can be caused by a number of factors such as betrayal, rejection, failure, loss, abuse, personal sin, etc. Sometimes the wound is caused by things we do while at other times it is caused by things that happen to us. Either way, these things have the potential of inflicting a deep, internal wound.
A wounded spirit is also an invisible injury. You can see when someone has a broken arm or leg. But a broken spirit is hidden from view; however, the symptoms are perfectly visible. Symptoms include anger, resentment, apathy, resignation, bitterness, depression, negativity, and a host of other possible behavioral/emotional indicators.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could go through life without being hurt? Yes, but that is an unrealistic expectation. Jesus said in Luke 17:1,“It is impossible but that offenses will come.” Painful situations are bound to happen. We all run the risk of being wounded, but there is an answer.
In Luke 4:18 Jesus stood in the Synagogue in His hometown of Nazareth. Taking the book, He opened to an ancient prophecy that was given by Isaiah about seven-hundred-years before the birth of Christ. As His family, friends and neighbors sat listening, Jesus read these words and applied them to Himself,“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted….”
Jesus is called the Great Physician for a reason. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3). The good news for those suffering from a wounded spirit is that you don’t have to stay wounded. You don’t have to live the rest of your life in that condition. The hurt that is internal and invisible is not irrecoverable. Healing is available from the One who was wounded Himself (Isaiah 53:5), and yet triumphed over it.
Be encouraged! In Jesus Christ there is hope and healing for the wounded in spirit.
Pastor Todd Weston