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.
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