“The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?”
There are many things the human can endure, but the one thing that will destroy any human is a wounded or broken spirit. You often hear of people enduring many atrocities, and the thing that helped them get through whatever they faced was their spirit. When soldiers are captured by the enemy, the one thing the enemy does to try to get information from them is to break their spirit. You will often hear heroic stories of POW’s who, in spite of the beatings, torture, starvation and sickness, they never cracked because their spirit stayed strong.
Many believers have fallen away from the LORD because of a wounded spirit. God asks in the verse above, “…a wounded spirit who can bear?” The one thing you must protect is your spirit. When you go through hard times, you must watch that your spirit isn’t wounded. However, you must also be careful not to be the one who wounds another’s spirit. Many believers have been guilty of wounding another’s spirit to the point that the wounded person dropped out of church and unfortunately went the way of the world to their own detriment. My friend, be careful about being the person who wounds another’s spirit. There are several things you must watch so that you are not the one guilty of wounding another’s spirit.
First, the words you say can wound another’s spirit. Verse 13 says, “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” Be careful about being hasty with your words. Don’t be accusative of another when you don’t know the whole story. It is always better to let your words be healing words than accusative words. Be careful that you don’t let anger influence the words you say. Many people have said things in anger only to regret the hurt they caused to another. If you don’t want to be guilty of wounding another’s spirit, you are going to have to guard the words you say.
Second, unwarranted actions can wound another’s spirit. I’m afraid every person is guilty at times of doing something they should have never done to another person only to learn later that their actions hurt another’s spirit. Let me caution you not to be an angry or wrathful person. Many leaders have dealt with issues in anger only to hurt the spirit of the one whom they are to build. Be careful that your actions are not the cause of the wounding of another’s spirit. The best way to let your actions build others is to be led of the Spirit.
Third, broken trust can wound another’s spirit. When you give your word that you are going to do something, you need to be sure to follow through with what you say. You are constantly building trust with others, and all it takes to ruin that trust is to break your word. People put confidence in what you say, and not following through will break their trust and often wound their spirit.
Fourth, sin always wounds the spirit of others. The greatest way to hurt another’s spirit is to live a life of sin. The fingers of sin spread far and deep. If you get caught in sin, you will find your actions will wound the spirit of many. The best way to keep from wounding the spirit of others because of sin is to deal with sin promptly so that the act of getting caught doesn’t hurt others. If you forsake your sin quickly, you will never have to worry about your sin wounding another’s spirit.