THERE IS A VERY UNHEALTHY TREND of verbal abuse that’s escalating worldwide. My heart is heavy because of the destructive effects that this is having in our nation and the world. Verbal abuse is vicious, malicious, vehement speech—both written and oral. Most verbal abuse is based upon lies, distortions and exaggerations. Verbal abuse often targets religion, race, human sexuality or politics.

However the source of verbal abuse is none of the above. In John 3:19 Jesus said, “People love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil.” The Apostle Paul told us that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against the evil one. Our conflict is with spiritual wickedness.

There is but one enemy—Satan, the thief who has come to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). So, we see that people are not our real enemy; they are merely pawns in the hand of the enemy. Thus they need our prayers and compassion.

ACCORDING TO THE DICTIONARY any of the following actions can be considered forms of verbal abuse:

▪ Accusing/blaming
▪ Name-calling
▪ Judging/criticizing
▪ Abusive anger
▪ Discounting or minimizing the victim’s experiences

LIES, DISTORTIONS, and CORRUPTION are everywhere. All of this is an expression of verbal abuse. Our words can cause life or death. They will either edify or destroy. “The tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell . . . . With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.” (James 3:6, 9-10 NASB)

Ultimately, one form of verbal abuse is no worse than another; it is all devilish, and thus deadly. For example, some pride themselves in not being abusive orally regarding race or religion, but their spousal abuse is hideous! May God protect us from every form of verbal abuse, and cause us to minister life—His Life—one to another!

After much prayer, I am compelled to offer these suggestions regarding verbal abuse. As those who are representatives of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (the One who is pure and lovely, good and true), I urge you to please prayerfully consider what you are saying and what you are posting on public media.

Many political posts have become divisive and destructive—stirring up division and strife. Some posts are even becoming vulgar and inflammatory. These kinds of posts are very unhealthy for you, our nation, and our world.

OUR LORD, as the PRINCE of PEACE, desires that we be His instruments of peace, harmony and unity. As those who are in Christ, we should be peacemakers, not troublemakers. “Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody.” (Romans 12:18 GNT)

I understand how many of you feel. I too have strong feelings about what is going on in our country and the world, but as Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us there is a time and place for everything. Therefore, you should take time to evaluate the appropriate time and place to say whatever is on your mind. Don’t just blurt it out in a fit of emotion. Instead, weigh it out to determine if and when it is even necessary to say.

FOR EXAMPLE, when our kids were young, we had a phrase we would use when an issue arose. “Don’t tell the neighbors!” This was of our way of letting them know that some things were for our ears only. We did not need to say them publicly or even repeat them privately outside our family circle.

Likewise, it is important for you to take into account your audience. Your speech will be effective if you respond God’s way, because His way is always the best! If something is bothering you, you should first prayerfully ponder such matters in your heart before you say anything. Don’t blab it prematurely, and be selective about whom you tell.

THAT IS WHAT MARY DID when the angel told her she would be the mother of our Lord. Always cast your cares upon the Lord. If you do that, He will take care of things in His time and in His way. In Psalm 138:8 we are told the Lord will perfect that which concerns you.

Therefore, I lovingly urge you to avoid reading or listening to abusive comments, much less sharing them with others. God describes such practices as gossip or slander and warns against it. God hates these sins just like any other because they mar and scar His precious creation.

Furthermore, for those on social media, I suggest that you remove any post that is vulgar, divisive or has not been proven true. Even if something is true, it may not need to be shared. Always speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). And for your sake and those in your circle of influence, please avoid the vehement rhetoric that is plaguing the Earth today. Remember that love covers all!

With love and prayers from a fellow resident of planet Earth, Dr. Lewis Gregory

Copyright©2018 Dr. Lewis Gregory Revised 2022


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