“The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?” – Proverbs 18:14
In 1949 Joseph Campbell published a book titled, “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”. He posited that the most loved and enduring of myths from throughout history and around the world all shared the same, fundamental structure. The hero begins in the commonplace, an invitation arrives or challenge arises which draws the hero from the normal to the supernatural, the hero encounters terrible adversity, overcomes and returns to the commonplace, the same, and yet changed.
In many, perhaps all, of our favourite stories it comes down to a battle of wills. Does our hero have the heart to overcome evil? Abilities vary and the means of victory differs, but so long as our hero has heart, he can win!
Yet, despite all the advantages in the natural and supernatural world, if our hero does not have heart, then he falters and even fails. Sometimes a greater hero falls and a lesser person by general standards fills the gap and, by the force of will alone it seems, goes out to battle and returns victorious!
The spirit of a man sustains him through infirmities. But that same man, with a wounded, crushed, broken spirit, will fall at the first hurdle. He will buckle under the lightest of weights. Why? Because he has a wounded, broken spirit.
Many Christians have been wounded. They may have been wounded by the trials of life, the attacks of the enemy, physical ailments or by other Christians who have discouraged, betrayed or disappointed them in some way. Some causes are real, others simply perceived.
If you have a wounded spirit, look to the God of all comfort for help and healing. If you know someone who is wounded, encourage them.