Sometimes in my reading I come across something that gets my attention in a more convicting way than usual. That happened a couple of weeks ago with a book I was reading for an online class I was teaching. While I knew I had been guilty at times in my life of what the author was pointing out, I had never thought of it in the terms he used.

In a book entitled Tired of Trying to Measure up author Jeff VanVonderen suggests, “Psycho-emotional abuse is, in some ways, more damaging than physical abuse. . . . Wounds to the heart are deeper and invisible to others. . . . Verbal abuse, the most easily recognized form of psycho-emotional abuse, includes name-calling, put-downs, comparing to others, raising the voice, and threats.”

It’s the word abuse and the phrase wounds to the heart that got me. I would rather not think of myself in connection with either that word or that phrase, but I was convicted because I know I’ve done it. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’ve done it in anger and to those who certainly didn’t deserve it.

Are you guilty? There are probably a few readers who have never or who have rarely used their words to wound another’s heart, but most of us no doubt have. And the reality is that we didn’t plan or mean to do it, we did it in anger and out of frustration. But it’s wrong.  And we can’t take it back.

So what should we do?  If appropriate we might consider confessing it and asking for forgiveness. And in the future we might keep VanVonderen’s words in mind and our anger and tongues in check. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to ever wound the heart of another person with my words. Do you?

By the way, do I think I am being too honest in this post?  Feel free to comment below.

All photos on StockSnap fall under the Creative Commons CC0 license. 

14 thoughts on “I’M GUILTY: ARE YOU?

  1. Let’s be honest we all are guilty of it at one time or the other. In younger years I would speak without any filter, looking back I must have hurt people. However, this changed when i was in a relationship where I was the target on a daily/hourly base, knowing the pain words can inflict I have learned not to speak when I’m angry. People around me know when I get quiet that I’m angry and they give me time to cool down and have a productive conversation at a later point in time.Yes, I have hurt people with words, yes I have asked for forgiveness in prayers and from the people I victimized and continue to pray that I can control my anger.


  2. I am glad to see this post Bob, and you have to be honest about areas of your life that you struggle with sinning in. I am sure most of the human race has said hurtful things to others, but the fact that we can recognize it means we can ask both God and the person we’ve hurt for forgiveness. That’s the beauty of God’s word…giving us a way to make things right.


  3. pastor Bob –
    You are spot on with your comments and I appreciate your candidness. I too have been guilty of this sin and wish many times I could take back the words that I used in the past that have scarred others. Thank you for this insightful reminder that sticks and stones will hurt your bones but words to the heart indeed harm others.
    Mike B


  4. of course I don’t believe your being too honest. I believe that’s the problem most of the time, we won’t be honest. We do hurt people by our words and as I get older I realize this. That’s for your comments


  5. I’ve lived most of my life with people who freely expressed themselves and know people who seem to guard their words. This is my limited experience but people who say what’s on their minds need to seek forgiveness more often but they also are much better at forgiveness then those who hold in their feelings in only to explode later and find it hard to forgive. Just saying!


  6. I think you should be Honest will all your readers. It brings us closer to you and your
    feelings. Your right once we say something to someone that we shouldn’t of we can not
    take it back, and most of the time it can be forgiven but not forgotten.


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