Tuesday, September 4, 2012

"Verbal Abuse"

Psalm 141:3 Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips. 

Living in Christ is not easy, but it is possible. God did not promise that we would not face adversities in our walk in Christ however; He did promise that we would overcome those adversities. One of the biggest struggles I had to overcome was the emotional scars of verbal abuse. It was difficult and trying at times, but I knew I could not overcome my struggles in my own strength, so I had to call on JESUS. Verbal abuse is dangerous and just as harmful (if not more harmful) as a gun. Words are powerful and according to the word of God Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. 

Verbal abuse enters the ear thus invading your thoughts and is communicated with your voice. Soon those things that are verbalized then are manifested in your actions and become your character. Verbal abuse is just as damaging as any other form of abuse. 

Verbal abuse does three things: 

(1) Leaves no physical evidence – Have you ever gotten so mad that your anger got the best of you and you lashed out verbally? You may have said some things you did not mean. Or perhaps you meant what you said but would have preferred not to communicate in that way. I’ve been there! Or how about have you ever been the target for someone lashing out at you? I’ve been there too! Those words said may not have left a mark anywhere on your body. There were not any bruises, black eyes or broken bones. In fact, verbal abuse can sometimes be hard to prove, hard to believe and hard to find the cause/sources of (in some cases). There is no evidence at the scene of the crime. However, words are like small seeds, and when thrown into the atmosphere depending on the ground they land on, those seeds will grow. Harmful words are seeds grow that can grow into insecurities, feelings of inadequacy, hate, pride and resentment. These emotions are not always evident. Some people may wear their emotions on their sleeve whereas others carefully conceal their emotions. Either way, harmful emotions are painful to bear. 

(2) Assassinates – Verbal abuse can contaminate your character or someone else’s character. For example: Verbal abuse can contaminate a child’s spirit and delay the child from maximizing his/her potential. If a child grows up in a home where the parent(s) are always highlighting a child's failures and embarrassing the child, the child may grow up insecure and afraid to try new things – limiting him/her from branching out and experiencing the fullness of life.

A form of verbal abuse is gossip! Gossip will destroy/kill someone’s reputation. Gossip can taint a person’s character. It takes a lifetime to build a good name and only a second to destroy it. The worst thing about gossip is it is difficult to trace. A lie does not care who tells it. 

(3) Contagious – Verbal abuse is contagious! How do you know what a curse word is? How do you know how to curse? My guess is your heard it somewhere. Of all the things we pick up along the way, somehow we never seem to forget how to curse or gossip. Now for those of you who do not have a cursing problem, verbal abuse is any language that is not edifying your brother or sister in Christ. Verbal abuse could include always saying negative things about a new project, new idea, or new person. “I don’t know who she thinks she is, she isn’t the boss”, or “Girl, let me tell you about the –insert favorite reality show here- she remind me of –insert person you know here-”. Verbal abuse also includes any phrases/words perpetuating stereotypes of any ethnic race. I’ve heard the term “CP time” and it is not a positive term, yet I’m guilty of using it. So now that we are clear that verbal abuse is not just about cursing, and it is about any language that cannot be used to glorify God and His kingdom. It is important to know verbal abuse in contagious. I mentioned earlier that harmful words are like seeds. Well, those seeds are watered by the world and eventually those seeds manifest into full grown strongholds. The strongholds can and usually do produce seeds of its own. Someone once told me hurt people hurt people. Those who are wounded by verbal abuse usually tend to wound others. 

So now that we are aware of verbal abuse how can we change it, what can we do about it. Well, my prayer sister, Sheika once gave me a scripture Psalm 141:3 to meditate on which has helped me a lot. It is important to continue to develop your relationship with God, because the truth is, no man can control his own tongue; James 3:8 but no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. You need the divine power of the Holy Spirit to help you. As I travel this journey in Christ, I have to constantly be mindful of the words that I speak. I encourage you all to do the same.

--Demo, Team TT

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