The human spirit can endure in sickness,
but a crushed spirit who can bear?
Undoubtedly many reading this proverb will sadly nod in agreement because of your own crushed spirit. The weight of depression, of anxiety, of feeling unloved feels unbearable and you focus on merely surviving each day. This proverb lets you know that God understands. It is placed in Scripture for you to know that you do not suffer alone. God is with you and even now is bearing your great weight. You are not alone as a sufferer. Many others throughout the ages and in the present have known the “crushed spirit.” Stop at this very moment and offer a prayer for those whose spirits are crushed.
All the more reason it is so important to be about the business of encouraging others. Husbands are told not to be harsh with their wives and do not discourage their children (Colossians 3:19, 21). Why? Because such behavior crushes their spirits. So it is in all relationships. Venting anger and criticizing freely crushes. And we willingly crush the spirits of our brothers and sisters all the while claiming to do so for their good because telling the truth is what matters most. We are to speak the truth, but we are to speak the truth in love with the intent to build up one another in Christ (Ephesians 4:15-16). And if we must correct a brother or sister of sin then we are to do so in a spirit of gentleness (Galatians 6:1).
Examine your heart today especially in your relationship with those closest to you. Are you building up those closest to you or crushing their spirit? Remember your Lord of whom it was said “a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench” (Isaiah 42:3). Surely he had cause to crush you for your sin and yet chose to become crushed himself (Isaiah 53:5) that your spirit might live.
1 Timothy 4
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
6 If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters,[a] you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. 7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. 10 That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.
11 Command and teach these things. 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.
15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.