A Wounded Spirit Prov. 18:14 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
According to Prov 18:14 a wounded spirit is unbearable. Often, the one who has wounded your spirit is your child. Notice what the Bible says. A foolish son is a grief to his father and bitterness to her that bare him [Prov 17:25], he’s the heaviness of his mother [Prov 10:1], and the calamity of his father [Prov 19:13]. When you have a wounded spirit, you and everyone around you are affected by it. So, what are you to do about a wounded spirit?
You are wounded, therefore, you need help – getting help and treating your wounds are not selfish; they are absolutely essential. When a soldier in battle is wounded they take him off the battlefield to treat his wound. You need to protect yourself from further injury and you need to take care of yourself. When you don’t, the people who see your wounded spirit can’t bear it. Don’t keep picking at your wound by talking about it all the time; let it heal. Get help from the Lord in Bible and prayer. Get help from the preacher. Get help from a strong friend.
You can’t change the person who is wounding you – just like you can’t make the enemy quit shooting at you in battle. If your child is wounding you, you make yourself think that when he or she quits their foolishness you will no longer be wounded. So, you expend all your energy dealing with their foolishness rather than tending to your wounds. You can’t change him or her; but you can treat your wound. The person who is wounding you needs to take care of himself. This is where so many people get messed up because they will not let the other person take responsibility for himself and bear his own consequences. They just keep trying to fix it. You’ll do a lot better to pray to the Lord than to mess with this person.
You need to protect yourself from being wounded again – You can’t undo the initial wound but you can keep from being wounded over and over again. It’s like the guy who explained what happened to the fellow he beat up. He said, “He just kept running into my fists.” That’s a funny explanation but it truly describes what you are doing to yourself when you keep getting in close or keep letting this person get in close to you. This is why the prodigal son’s father let his son go. He didn’t chase him. This is why the parents of a stubborn, rebellious and disobedient child in the Old Testament were told to stone such a child [Deut 21:18-21]. Put plenty of distance between you and the person who is hurting you. You must protect yourself.
You need to quit wounding yourself – when you do something kind to the person who is hurting you, your expectation is that he or she will appreciate you and change. When he doesn’t, you are hurt even worse. He didn’t hurt you this time; you hurt yourself by expecting that he would behave. You need to quit that.
You must learn to live with the pain – You are hurt. That’s just the way it is. The pain gets you thinking about the person and the person gets you thinking about the pain. Every time you feel the pain you are reminded of the person who is causing that pain and you feel compelled to do something to make him quit hurting you. Your mind and your senses are consumed with the pain and with thoughts about the person causing you the pain. You can’t help feeling the hurt but you can break this vicious cycle in response to the hurt you feel. Quit dwelling on the person who is hurting you and the pain will reduce to a more tolerable level. And whatever you do, don’t medicate the pain.
You need to deal with the pain rationally – You need to be careful because the pain may lead to your own destructive behavior and thoughts. You want God to kill the person who is hurting you to make your pain go away. But when he is dead you will still be in pain and then you will also be dealing with grief and guilt. And remember when your thinking is irrational because of the wound, you have a tendency to blame the wrong person: God, your spouse or a close friend of the one who is wounding you. Don’t do that. Listen, God is responding to your prayers, but this person must respond to God. If he isn’t going to respond to God then he surely isn’t going to respond to you. God is not at fault here. The only person responsible is the one who is inflicting your pain.
You need to recover so that you can return to duty – When you are wounded you ignore others who are close to you because all of your attention is devoted to the person who is causing you the pain. So, let go of this person and start ministering to those you love who are not hurting you. You will heal faster and those around you will no longer find you unbearable.
Conclusion: a wounded spirit is unbearable. Since it is your spirit that is affected, you can be sure that drawing close to the Lord and being filled with the Holy Spirit is going to help you mend. So, heal up and go on about your life with the Lord and with your loved ones.