Overcoming an Afflicted Mentality

Proverbs 15:15 All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.


The scriptures, specifically in Proverbs, reveals to us that there is a thin layer of intricacy between one who may have a wounded spirit and one who has a mentality of always feeling afflicted. Some people suffer from real afflictions in their lives, such as being sexually assaulted, experiencing physical abuse, or losing a loved one unexpectedly to an unjust violent death. Proverbs 18:14 tells us that generally the spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity, but asks the rhetorical question “but a wounded spirit who can bear?” While having a positive mindset and having the right spirit about a matter will help you endure trials that come your way, there are also times when the spirit is broken and the person loses a sense of hope. Proverbs 15:13 likewise confirms that “by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken” and Proverbs 17:22 says “a broken spirit drieth the bones.” While some indeed struggle due to past trauma, it would be wise to consider the words of one who said “if you never heal from what hurt you, you'll bleed on people who didn't cut you.” Seek healing as soon as possible instead of living in a state of perpetually healing over minor things that happened 20+ years ago. For those who are struggling an affliction, we should bear one another’s burdens by showing empathy, and ask the Lord for discernment to know when we should be silent and when it would be proper to speak encouraging words. Proverbs 12:25 Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.


There are also those who simply live their life with an afflicted mentality mindset. Today we often call it a victim mentality. All they see in their life is the bad. To them, all their days are evil. They always see themselves as victims of their circumstances instead of developing a mindset to overcome obstacles that they may face. They will often be jealous and envious of the successes of others. They may inwardly even hope for failure in others. Meanwhile, they’ll covet the lifestyle of those who they hoped would fail. It’s not uncommon for these people to read too much into everything and take everything personally, always being easily offended. Having an afflicted mentality is harmful to both our spiritual and physical health. Proverbs 14:30 A sound heart is the life of the flesh: But envy the rottenness of the bones.


While Proverbs 15:15 tells us that “all the days of the afflicted are evil,” it also says “but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.” For the one simply minding their own business, loving the Lord, serving people, and having a positive mindset with a merry heart, it is as if their life is celebratory in having a continual feast. They’re filled with joy and thanksgiving. They’re living their life to the fullest. When bad things happen in their life, it appears as if it was simply a speed bump in the road. They’re human too, so it’s possible that something drastic could happen and they go through a season of having a broken spirit. Yet they’re able to find peace in the Lord. They may even somehow be able to find a positive in the trial they’re going through. The psalmist in 119:71-72 wrote “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; That I might learn thy statutes. The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.” To trust God by taking what life sends and stay on the bright side works wonders on the heart of man. The right attitude can make a tremendous difference to the joy of living compared to the one that always sees him or herself as always being afflicted. We see in some of the same proverbs (15:13 & 17:22) that mentioned the casualties of a broken spirit also mentions “a merry heart make a cheerful countenance” and “a merry heart doth good like a medicine.” Only the merry heart can counteract the genuine hardships of sorrow and the one stuck in the rut of an afflicted mentality mindset. Adjust your mindset, realign your heart, and find peace in the Lord being your strength. It is a wonder that sometimes those who appear to have their life all together are the ones who live with an afflicted mentality, and those you see go through many afflictions shine with the joy of the Lord.

Habakkuk 3:17–19 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.


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