The Wounded Spirit – Gospel in Life

The Wounded Spirit

Tim Keller |  December 5, 2004

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  • Hope
Proverbs 12:25; 13:12; 14:10,13,30; 15:4,13-14; 16:2; 18:14; 28:1
RS 178-13


Today we’re going to talk about wisdom with regard to the complex realities of our inner beings — what we would today call the psychological life. We all at certain times have a lot of trouble understanding and dealing with the very deep, conflicting, confusing, powerful, sometimes warring dynamic impulses that just roll through our hearts. Sometimes we don’t feel we have any power over those impulses. We feel helpless. We don’t know how we got there and what to do about it.
The book of Proverbs can help us. We’re going to look at four headings in a collated group of proverbs. You’re not going to be wise unless you understand the priority of the inner life, the complexity of the inner life, the solitude of the inner life, and the healing of the inner life.

Understanding Proverbs

The book of Proverbs teaches us about wisdom and how it relates to our thoughts and feelings. It helps us understand our inner selves better – our feelings, our struggles, and how to heal from our hurts.

1. The importance of our inner life

Proverbs tells us that our inner life – our thoughts, feelings, and spirit – is really important. It suggests that a strong spirit can help us even when we’re physically hurting. This challenges the idea that our happiness depends on what’s happening around us. Instead, it suggests that how we respond to these events matters more. The Apostle Paul’s prayers for the churches, asking God to strengthen their inner selves, show how important it is to nurture our spirit instead of just trying to get more stuff.

2. The complexity of our inner life

The Bible helps us understand that our inner life is complex. It affects our bodies, our feelings, our relationships, and our sense of right and wrong. It also shows us that when we’re going through a hard time, we need love and support from others. The Bible teaches us that the way to deal with negative feelings and despair is to find meaning and purpose in our lives through God. It gives us the best guidance and understanding available.

3. The loneliness of our inner life

Life can be lonely and complicated. Even the people closest to us might not fully understand what we’re going through. But Proverbs teaches us that God does understand. He knows our hearts and our motives. By having a close relationship with Him, we can go through life’s tough times without feeling completely alone.

4. The healing of our inner life

The Tree of Life symbolizes eternal life and our deep desire to be fulfilled. Jesus’ sacrifice changes our fear and guilt into hope. It shows us the power of the gospel and the importance of being part of a community in our spiritual growth. When we confess our sins, we stop trying to justify ourselves and surrender to God. This leads to forgiveness, spiritual growth, and a stronger faith in Jesus.



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