CRUSHED IN SPIRIT
A soothing tongue is a tree of life but perversion in it crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:4
We often don’t equate words with weaponry. We believe that to do mortal damage, it must be inflicted physically, if it is to do real harm. Words don’t leave visible wounds and that’s why recklessness with words abounds.
I am struck by the power of Solomon’s words. Perverse words don’t just sting, causing someone to wince and then get over it. They have the ability to crush the spirit. Anyone who has been the recipient of a tirade can attest to what happens to their body as words are used against them as a weapon. I hear many wives and husbands say that a bitter confrontation with their spouse leaves them physically weak. As the barrage of accusations come their way, they feel themselves sinking and diminishing. Some are even reduced to a state of wordlessness as they lose their sense of personal power.
I believe that words are the most powerful weapons. Physical abuse, though horrific, is considerably easier to heal from than verbal abuse. That’s because this kind of abuse can occur without shouting, without nasty name-calling. It is insidious. You are being crushed in spirit if:
- You express your opinions less and less frequently.
- You find yourself walking on eggshells, careful of when and how to say something.
- You feel emotionally unsafe and hide your true feelings.
- You doubt your memory or sense of reality.
- You second-guess everything, but especially your own judgment.
- You have little or no self-confidence.
- You feel vulnerable and insecure.
- You feel increasingly trapped and powerless.
Colossians 4:6 “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person.” To season our speech with grace means that we are to seize the opportunity, with our words, to bring out the best in another person. Can you imagine how this would transform our relationships if we checked every word before we spoke and put it through the grid of this scripture?
Perhaps you were raised in a critical home and as children do, you consumed the adults’ words in your spirit. Then maybe you married someone who continued to criticize. The dating relationship felt normal and their words just confirmed what you believed to be true about yourself.
What is the cure if I’ve been crushed in spirit? An intimate relationship with a Savior who speaks graciously. His words need to shake up my belief system. I need to give Him permission to re-write my reality. His gracious whispers need to wash over my powerlessness, my wordlessness, and give me courage to step out with Him into spacious places where words are plentiful and vision is born.
Send Your encouragers to the powerless today! But in their absence, let Your voice be heard so that healing can begin. In Jesus’ name, Amen