Proverbs 15:13 A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
Proverbs 18:14 The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, But who can bear a broken spirit?
When someone whom we love very much is sick, then a sorrow grips our heart and that breaks our spirit. When we put all our savings in stocks and the stock market went down and left us with no savings, then automatically fear induces sorrow and it breaks our heart. When the love of God crushes our heart, it produces sorrow and it also will break our heart. So the brokenness in our spirit varies depends upon the way our heart gets affected.
The scripture says in Prov 15:13, “But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.” The brokenness in our spirit is because of sorrow. There are two types of sorrow, which breaks our spirit, worldly sorrow and godly sorrow. The former ends with death and the later ends with life (II Cor 7:9-10). Conviction of the Holy Spirit will bring godly sorrow in our life and which leads to repentance. Cares of life brings worldly sorrow and it will lead to death. In either case, our spirit is broken. When one’s spirit is broken, for an unbeliever, their natural source of remedy lies in depression relieving medicine or yoga or other ways to relieve their stress of pain. For a believer, our natural source of remedy is prayer (Jam 5:13). If we do not know the root cause of this brokenness, then our prayer will lack the real content. We have to identify the root cause of the brokenness of our spirit. This will enable us to distinguish between God’s burden and self-inflicted burden. Sometimes, it will be very difficult to separate these two, but Holy Spirit through the word of God can enable us to tune our hearts to discern between the godly and ungodly sorrow. We will look at some key factors from the scriptures to distinguish the source of brokenness and the need of it in our spiritual growth.