Verbal abuse is one of the most degrading actions directed from one person to another. When someone uses foul, demeaning, degrading language that tears apart another person, the damage done cannot be quantified. Society nowadays seems to be full of people who cannot control their tongues. Some people tend to say anything irrespective of how negatively their words will affect someone else. Most people are in self-preservation mode and will twist words to protect themselves even if they are the ones in the wrong.
Abuse of any type diminishes the person’s sense of esteem and dignity.
Verbal abuse makes a person feel as if they are not of value and start doubting their worth. An abused person may end up identifying themselves with the words and actions of the abuser. When a person is constantly bombarded with negativity, criticism, and abusive words, they develop a root of rejection within them and that makes them accept mistreatment because somehow they start thinking that they deserve to be treated ‘lesser than’.
An abused person may try to explain themselves but that somehow worsens the verbal abuse even more, and the more explanation they give, the more things the abuser finds to use against them, and this can cause a lot of confusion because they think that they are trying to make things better yet the abuser turns everything around.
Rejection then makes a person ‘coil back’ or start seeking validation and acceptance from other people, at times even from their abuser.
An abuser aims to make the other person feel so worthless that they can accept any form of mistreatment – they tear the other person down so much with words and actions, they coerce and manipulate the other person into doing and saying things that that person would not normally do or say, and to make it even worse, when the other person gets the courage to stand up for themselves, the abuser turns everything against them and may even accuse them of insanity.
The abuser’s well-calculated actions and words are meant to gain and maintain a sense of power and control over the other person. The abused person will be so manipulated, to the extent that they may no longer recognize what is real and what is not real, or what is true and what is false.
The abuser may accuse the other person of having ulterior motives, they may accuse the other person of things they never said or did, they may turn actions and words around to portray a deceptive and different meaning from what the person actually meant, they may spread gossip and lies about the other person, they may slander the other person – the abuser will make sure that they damage the image of the other person in the eyes of other people.
When a person gets involved with a verbally abusive person, it usually starts out well. Such an abusive person will do their best to build up a false image of themselves during the initial stages. They will project a lie so that they can deceive other people. However, with time, their real self comes to the surface.
We should be very careful especially during our initial interactions with people so as not to be deceived by a false first impression. Getting to know people takes time and we should not be deceived by external appearances or charming words. There are people who have mastered the art of saying the right words and doing all the right things and if we are not careful, we will find ourselves in a trap that might take very long to get out of and that might affect the course of the rest of our lives.
Let us be on the watch for wolves in sheep clothing.
The Bible tells us that we shall know them by their fruits and that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. With time the fruit of what is in a person’s heart comes out no matter how much or for how long they may try to hide it. We should be very careful about doing or saying things in a rush and especially in things that affect our relationship with the Lord.
Most of the time we tend to be in a hurry and want quick satisfaction but we fail to count the cost of our actions and words, we fail to count the cost of opening up our lives to people we should never have opened up to.
People who have no goodwill towards us are agents of the enemy and they only cause destruction. The enemy is out there wandering day and night looking for people to devour. There are people who are being used by the enemy to cause destruction in other people’s lives, and such people eventually end up destroying their own lives too if they do not come to a knowledge of truth and turn to the Lord.
Not everyone is meant to be part of our lives – yes we should love people but also be wise and realize that we should set up boundaries.
Any person who demeans us with their words and actions, such a person we should love from a wide distance away. Such a person will tear us down to the ground and turn us into doormats if we allow them to, they will wound our souls by feeding us with lies about who we are and hurling abuses at us, they will oppress us and leave us spiritual dry to the extent that we lose who we are.
Verbal abuse is poison to the soul and with time the inner damage done starts manifesting in physical symptoms – the skin may start to erupt, it lowers the body’s immunity, a person may feel a sense of hopelessness and worthlessness, it makes a person even start doubting their sanity, it makes a person feel weak, it makes a person feel incapable of living life and makes them dependent on others at times even including the abuser in an unhealthy way, it may make a person start doubting their every word and action and even their good intentions and start looking up for validation from other people, it makes a person think that maybe other people are better – and so much more damage.
We should never submit ourselves to any form of abuse including verbal abuse. A verbally abusive person is insecure, hateful and jealous, full of pride, and feeds their ego by the downfall of the other person, and most importantly, an abusive person does not know what love is.
The Bible tells us that death and life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruits. We should be careful about what we say, whether to ourselves or to other people. May the words that proceed from our mouths be words that build and not destroy. We shall all give an account on the day of judgement for every careless word spoken.
Demeaning another person with our words and actions may feel good for the moment, it may get us validated and praised by others and even still, it may destroy the reputation of the person to whom it is directed. But what is the cost? Let us learn to always count the cost. Let us be aware of how much destruction the tongue can cause.
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. James 3:6.
Let us be on the watch lest our tongues send us to hell!
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