Biblical wisdom is loathe to divide the human person into ‘constituent parts’. The main thing about a man is his unity, about a women her cohesion. Precise distinctions between, say, mind, body, and spirit usually pave the first steps on a ditch dressed up like a path, which leads nowhere.
Still, careful observation of human experience eventually turns up a home truth that stretches this caution just a bit: a person’s body can suffer a lot and he can prove remarkably resilient. But crush a person’s spirit and her whole world crumbles.
A man’s spirit will endure sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear? (Proverbs 18:14 ESV)
It is not true that attitude is everything. To believe so is to produce some genuine mental torment in those you feel you must inform.
But if attitude is not everything, it is an awful lot. A buoyant spirit—even just the capacity to cling to hope—makes may horrid miles endurable.
This dynamic lies in part at the root of wisdom’s summons to speak little, to speak well, and to speak wisely, for our words are capable both of nourishing the human spirit and of grinding it down.
An encouraged friend, all things considered, can make it to hell and back. A neighbor pushed low by the clumsy weight of our spoken disdain may never get back up.