Verbal Assault or Verbal Healing

St. Mary's Falls

I had a picture in my mind this morning of those little yellow markers placed on the ground  in movies and TV shows when experts investigate a crime scene. In this case they did not mark bullets or shell casings. They marked deadly words.

I saw words shooting out of semi-automatic weapons and mowing down parents and children, homeless and housed, believers and doubters, victims and perpetrators, sinners and saints.

“What is this?” I asked.

“Verbal assault weapons.”

Is it my imagination or is verbal assault on the rise? Do people feel the need to arm themselves with harsher and stronger words to defend against rogue offenders on the internet – or complete strangers in news stories, for that matter?

We are becoming accustomed to hearing the insults and nasty innuendo that is politics-as-usual, but this week I am sick at heart at the cruel words aimed at parents who have lost children in freak accidents, friends who have lost friends in acts of violence, and hostages held hostage by hostages of the evil one or even ordinary bystanders who post opinions on social media. This week I have witnessed mass shootings of entire groups of people via verbal assault weapons.

After a tragedy we read the words of Mr. Roger’s whose mother’s advice was to look for the helpers. I am looking for those who help with healing, hopeful words. Those who have themselves received  the healing comforting words of Jesus should be first on the scene.

Here’s the thing, you can’t give what you have never received. We can’t expect those have  received cruel criticism or absorbed vicious lies about themselves to overflow with kind words for others. In the economy of Kingdom of heaven giving away healing, encouraging, kind words is the way to receive more from the One who is the Word of Life himself.

The loving response for those who have been forgiven is to forgive. It is the joy of those who have been changed to bring encouraging, restoring and sheltering words of hope.

At the very least we can resist the urge to escalate verbal violence ourselves by shooting off our mouths in public. Lay down your verbal assault weapons. If you can’t say anything nice it’s time to seek healing for your soul.

Jesus advised us to guard our hearts because our words flow from there. What do your words say about what you really believe?

For a man’s words depend on what fills his heart. A good man gives out good—from the goodness stored in his heart; a bad man gives out evil—from his store of evil. I tell you that men will have to answer at the day of judgment for every careless word they utter—for it is your words that will acquit you, and your words that will condemn you.” – Jesus

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20 thoughts on “Verbal Assault or Verbal Healing

      1. It is. Somehow, we’ve allowed ourselves to be absorbed into the world. As a result, we’ve diminished the power of the Spirit in us; we’ve dimmed the Spirit’s voice until it’s become unrecognizable.

        I really think we have to begin setting aside time alone with God so we can again attune our hearing to His voice, which will help us adjust our own.

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  1. Excellent piece Susan. Thoughtful, well written and right on target. We need more people putting positive, life building words into the air. Let’s continue to put that message out in our blogs and hope others will join us.

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  2. Not sure where you are at right now my friend. My heart and my prayers are with you. Lord wrap my sister in your arms. Let peace flow through her heart. Joy be overflowing. Give her clarity and wisdom father. Let her feel your love for her now, flowing through her soul body and mind. Holy Spirit fill her up to overflowing. Give her strength as she rest in you Lord. Laying all things at your feet. Taking your yoke. Sometimes we just need to feel his Love Susan. Know that my heart and thoughts are ones of love and peace for you.

    Blessings my sister

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  3. Paul

    Indeed Susan, indeed. I’ve given this topic some thought when I’ve tried to explain it to others and the best way i have found is to use an analogy of a pond of clear cool refreshing water that represents our good will. This pond is a gift from God by grace and we all have it inside – even the most horrific villains. Many guard their pool of good will jealously, giving out only harsh bitter waters as words – keeping the cool refreshing waters for family and friends (one hardcore prisoner befriended only rats and another birds). Many see the fresh waters as limited to the pool they have been given and will only act or speak good will if they think they will receive good will back – a sort of credit debit system. However – and you knew there would be a however didn’t you? – those who have Faith and believe will realize that whenever those fresh cool waters of good will are offered to those who most need them -who coincidentally would be the least likely to return them in kind – then the pond inside us is replenished from an unseen well spring in the bottom that seems to come from the Lord. And the more you give, the more good will pours into you. but to get this unending supply we have to give freely of our good will without expectation of reciprocation. We have to have Faith that good will comes from the Lord and that whenever we use it in His name it is replenished even more than what we give.

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    1. Paul

      Charis, I apologize for calling you Susan. I followed over here from her site and I thought it was a guest post when in fact it was a re-blog. My mistake, my apologies, please forgive me. It really bothers me to get someone’s name incorrect.

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  4. Sometimes nasty words slip out so easily. I was beating myself up recently for complaining and being critical of my Mum, during a difficult conversation with my sister. It came I think from apparent lack of understanding from my sister and my need for a break from responsibilities for looking after my Mum.I was beating myself up for days afterwords for being unkind about my Mum who trusts me, and getting into an argument with my sister.
    Help me understand what happened and to be kind to myself who slipped up.
    Julia

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    1. You have brought up some good pointe, Julia. How do we speak honestly and kindly to ourselves and what is the place of anger in our lives.

      Very briefly, anger is a secondary emotion. Think of it as the engine warning light on your car’s dashboard. It is an indication that something in your heart needs tending to. There is hurt there and flare-ups of anger keep people from getting too close. This would be a good blog topic.

      This I know, God loves you very much and he is relentlessly kind. He has something precious to give you in this.

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      1. Thank you. I will ponder on your words. I am about to go on holiday to County Wicklow, Eire. I hope that there I will find refreshment and renewed energy to deal with the conflicting emotions bubbling just beneath the surface. I appreciate your thoughtful and thought provoking comment.
        Blessings, Julia

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  5. Caught your post from Susan’s re-blog. You are absolutely right. What we don’t realize is that when we participate in the escalation of violence we stop following Jesus and start following the accuser.
    Blessings to you. Great post!

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  6. Pingback: Anger as a Gift of Grace – Charis: Subject to Change

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