A man’s spirit will endure sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?
Solomon sneaks in some very poignant statements in Proverbs. We see fools vs. wise; wickedness defined as well as wisdom defined; good conduct vs. bad conduct. Sometimes we get to peer into our own heart.
Proverbs lets me, makes me look in the mirror intently. What am I like? Am I being wise? Foolish? Like Thursday’s posting is my foolishness really wickedness? Through Proverbs I am constantly confronted with having to candidly and fiercely examine myself.
But here is Solomon honestly looking at himself and diagnosing his heart; the same like my heart.
A comment comes my way, out of the blue, from a direction I am not expecting and my heart is crushed. A well-meaning “accountability partner” mentions something with good intentions but I don’t have “ears to hear.” My buddy, in wanting to “speak the truth in love” says something without hearing what I said and I am frustrated beyond frustration. And what about work stuff? Family stuff? Missteps in life? Etc. etc.
Here is where I try to figure out how to deal with it. But as I try to draw near to God, my prayers fall like bricks to the ground. Or they don’t go past the roof of my house. They dry up like cotton in my mouth or they don’t come out at all. What am I to do?
Our series in Acts 2 helps with an answer: Fellowship, hospitality. Sometimes we must go to other people. We must talk. We must be candid, open, and transparent. I must be brave enough to trust God’s protections as I open up my hurt and crushed spirit—but not just for spilling my guts. I must be looking for God.
What if I am presented with knowing that someone is crushed? “Encourage one another day by day as long as it is called today so that they don’t fall in the deceitfulness of sin.” Here is another for me to remember: “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” (Proverbs 18:2 ESV)
Father, please hear my prayer: When I am crushed in my heart, help me draw near to you. When I need to hear you, help me quiet my soul so I can hear Your whisper. When I can’t either of these, please make someone come to mind so I can talk. If I am asked to be talked to, please help me hear more than I talk—to be disciplined not to just talk to hear myself talk—but to count another more important than myself.