The Bible says in Proverbs 18:14, “A man’s spirit sustains him in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?”
This proverb contrasts a healthy spirit with a “crushed spirit”. The figure of a “crushed” spirit in this verse suggests a broken will, loss of vitality, despair, and emotional pain.
When a person’s spirit is healthy they are positive, alive, vibrant and are able to cope with most things that come their way. Even when facing major illness they seem to have the will to face it and overcome.
So what are some of the things we can do to maintain a healthy spirit? Here are a few that I have found helpful.
Prayer – keeping connected with God by prayer keeps up spiritually in tune with Him.
Bible reading – reading the Word of God regularly feeds our souls. It is our daily bread.
Confession – none of us are perfect and we all sin at times. Confession helps to lift the load when we sin.
Fellowship – spending time with positive faith filled people charges up our faith and lifts our spirit.
Rest – getting enough rest is vital to keeping a healthy spirit. We can’t just keep going flat out and expect to be healthy.
Recreation – if we want a healthy spirit we need to do things we enjoy and take us away from our everyday routines.
Service – serving others takes our focus of ourselves. Get involved in serving God by serving others to keep a healthy spirit.
First Peter 3:15 is often presented as a challenge to be prepared for opportunities to share one’s faith: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”
But sharing our faith might be the secondary aspect. First, we’re to live a life of hope in a world that is largely hopeless. Notice that Peter said that people will ask about the hope we have. As we live hope-filled lives in this broken world, those around us will see the difference. Then we’re to be ready to answer them about the hope that marks our lives.
Our hope distinguishes believers in Jesus from those without Christ, whom Paul described as “without hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). He is our hope, and we’re challenged to live like it.