Applied Wisdom for Verbal Abuse

Creating a safety net is important for handling personal abuse.

Responding to verbal abuse requires a strength of character. This strength is intensified when a person is acting with the blessing and power of a group. That is why it is so important that you surround yourself with a group of individuals with whom you are safe. The collective group becomes your safety net of protection.

In this post, you are encouraged to combine all you learned from the previous two posts and summarize them into one word:


  1. Guard your tongue.
  2. Guard your integrity.
  3. Guard your judgement.

Your tongue represents your body and all the practical knowledge you have obtained regarding abuse, abusers and confronting them when they strike.

Your integrity represents your soul and all the practical understanding you have gained to refrain from reacting to an abuser hiding behind a mask.

Your judgment represents your spirit and the practical wisdom you have discovered to empower you with positivity and goodness as weapons against abuse.


The ancient story of Job’s temptations sheds additional light on the essence of cursing. As he was tempted to curse God, he taught us how integrity overpowers abusive circumstances.

1. Cursing is a reaction to unforeseen, unwanted circumstances (1:11).

  • In its context (1:5), cursing is an outward expression of inward feelings!
  • Cursing begins in the heart and manifests itself outwardly through lack of self-control.
  • Create a code word with your support group to signal an expression of support.

2. Cursing is an expected reaction when you are physically abused (2:5).

  • In its context (2:9), cursing compromises your integrity. When you react abusively to abuse, you lose touch with the essence of your own character.
  • Identify the three best virtues of your support group. This will help you protect your own integrity as you identify with those same virtues.
  • Create a group motto or relevant mantra to use as an affirmation.

3. Cursing of a circumstance is acceptable so long as it is not cursing a person (compare 3:1, 8 with 31:30).

  • A curse is meant to be the promised evil for inappropriate behavior (5:1-3; 24:2, 14-18).
  • Identify three good aspects of the abuser. This does two things. Firstly, it helps you understand yourself to protect your integrity. Secondly, it reminds you to respond to the spirit and not react to the pained soul.
  • Summarize the good into an affirmation. Use the affirmation as motivation to respond calmly but firmly with a positive spirit.

Meditation for Healing from Abuse

We come together and feel the protection we have as a Team. We are thankful that during moments of rage and abuse, we have a Team to intervene. We are thankful for the safety net provided by our community. We see the mask of verbal abuse hiding the abuser’s pain. We are empowered with self-control. We are protected physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We declare victory within each ourselves and enjoy freedom from the abuser.

Related Posts:

Related Series:

Understanding Verbal Abuse

It is difficult to not personalize verbal assaults and there are reasons why that is so.

Responding to verbal abuse requires a strong self-awareness. That is why it is not easy to deal with these attacks. This is the second in a series of three posts. In this post, you are encouraged to distinguish the different reactions between one’s body, soul and spirit.

  1. What is the initial reaction to cursing?
  2. What is the initial thinking when abused?
  3. What is the desire when abused?

The first question is a physical reaction. The initial instinct is to use your body to stop the abuse. The victim mirrors their abuser!

The second question is the mental reaction. The initial instinct is to reason with the abuser. Fact: you cannot reason with an abuser!

The third question is the spiritual reaction. Overt aggression is often answered by passive aggression. At this stage, the victim enables their own abuse!


The Book of Proverbs in the Bible has much to say about cursing. Through the related axioms, we can formulate strategies to handle verbal abuse.

1. Cursing is like the continual, unrelenting fall of rain (Proverbs 27:14-15). The apostle Peter masked his discipleship to Jesus by cursing (Matthew 26:74). He was covering bitterness and confusion.

  • Curses have causes and are not accidental outbursts (Proverbs 26:2).
  • Visualize the cursing as a mask hiding the abuser’s face.
  • Consider what it is the abuser is hiding.

2. Cursing is difficult NOT to personalize (Proverbs 10:19). Why? Because 90% of a person’s 40,000 – 60,000 thoughts per day are negative! Verbal abuse profanes the sanctuary of our space.

  • Visualize the workspace of the abuser as your personal home.
  • How does it feel to have your personal space invaded by outside influence?
  • There is a natural desire to protect your family. Apply this feeling to those around you. You affect them when you are affected by verbal abuse.

3. The most effective strategy is to diffuse a negative spirit by a positive spirit (Proverbs 27:17).

  • Unasked for and unwanted thoughts need to be confronted.
  • Calmly and firmly respond along the lines: “Stop making me feel unworthy.” or simply just, “Stop it!”
  • Visualize each unwanted thought as being written on a paper. Now mentally burn that paper in fire. As the smoke ascends, visualize the negativity disappearing. This exercise is even more powerful when performed literally.

Prayer for Healing Victims of Abuse

God of endless love,
ever caring, ever strong,
always present, always just:
You gave your only Son
to save us by the blood of his cross.

Gentle Jesus, shepherd of peace,
join to your own suffering
the pain of all who have been hurt
in body, mind, and spirit
by those who betrayed the trust placed in them.

Hear our cries as we agonize
over the harm done to our brothers and sisters.
Breathe wisdom into our prayers,
soothe restless hearts with hope,
steady shaken spirits with faith:
Show us the way to justice and wholeness,
enlightened by truth and enfolded in your mercy.

Holy Spirit, comforter of hearts,
heal your people’s wounds
and transform our brokenness.
Grant us courage and wisdom, humility and grace,
so that we may act with justice
and find peace in you.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

(The above prayer from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.)

Related Post: Verbal Abuse

Related Series:

Verbal Abuse

How do you cope with that person who constantly berates you with foul language?

This is the first of a series. The series is based on three 20 minute sessions. The purpose and nature of the sessions are confidential. However, the principles for coping are universal truths.

Before we even begin, please recognize three things:

  1. YOUR well-being is important;
  2. YOUR feelings have value; and
  3. YOUR action plan will empower liberation from victimhood.

Dealing with verbal abuse is not easy. Let’s back up and get an overview of the situation. We can do this by distinguishing the difference between knowledge, understanding and wisdom.

  • What is an intellectual explanation for the person’s abusive behavior?
  • How does that explanation apply to YOUR situation?
  • What do you believe is an appropriate response to this behavior?

The first question gives you knowledge. The second opens up your understanding. The third is where wisdom is discovered. The first is a tool. The second is how you use it. The third is why you use the tool.


The remainder of this post will focus on the knowledge aspect of verbal abuse.

There is an old story in the bible about a king who wanted to curse Israel. His name was Balak. Balak hired a prophet from the East named Balaam. In the story, we learn why people curse.

1. Verbal abuse is a tactic employed by the weaker party.

  • Do you see yourself as the weaker or stronger party in this situation?
  • In what ways?
  • Recognize you are in a position of strength.

2. Cursing is an attempt to overcome the stronger party.

  • How can you utilize your strength to respond instead of reacting?
  • What is the difference? Think of examples of how you can respond instead of react in your situation.

3. Cursing is designed to drive away the stronger party.

  • We are taught to respond with a blessing. What does that look like?
  • Find something good in that person and then minister to that goodness for the sake of that goodness. What is good about this person?
  • Love the person, not the actions.

Thanksgiving with Forgiveness

The following prayer was revised from Hannah Hurnard, “Simply Faith”.

Thank you for teaching me to welcome everyone and to think lovingly about them. Thank you for helping me to forgive those who hurt me, or seem to neglect me. Thank you for forgiving them not just for the things they say and do, but also for being the sort of people they are. Amen.

Peace During Trouble

Last winter, I was walking along Tamaki Drive in Auckland’s Eastern suburbs. I left out on a quest: to follow the sunset from St Heliers to Mission Bay. The constant change in beauty was breath taking. 

You can see the picture of a couple sitting on the beach. They are surrounded by the peaceful colours of the sun setting over the North Shore. The flattened ball of light reflects toward them across the waters. It is for moments like these I enjoy walking in Auckland.


Reading Mark 1:21-28, I reflected on the topic, Peace During Troubles. Jesus was confronted with a contrary person. This person was heckling Jesus while he taught inside a place of worship. Jesus commanded this person:

‘Hold your peace’. 

The opposite of peace is not war; it is the absence of fear.

Fear of the unknown robs you of your peace. I pondered the connection in the liturgy between the Gospel text and the reading from I Corinthians 8. Then I realized worshipping idols is a manifestation of fear. Devotion expressed to inanimate objects is a manifestation of fearing the unseen forces those objects represent. 

In the Corinthian passage, this condition is referred to as being ‘unclean’. Our internal struggles require the power of peace. Peace is found through worship – but not worship of non-living forms.

Peace can be found in the midst of our internal struggles. Peace can be found during troublesome periods in our life. This is because you already possess peace! It is within you. Circumstances hide your peace. Look beyond your troubles and:

  • Find your peace!
  • Hold your peace!
  • Uplift your peace!

Spoil not the calm inside of you. Be not afraid of your troubles.

I believe one of the reasons I love to walk at days end is the feeling of peace it supports. The image I bring before you is that of the Orekei Basin. Although the Basin itself is not a secret, many are not aware of its lovely trail. You can circumnavigate these still waters without the trauma of Tamaki Drive’s numerous walkers. The trail is not suitable for bikes so you can walk without constantly looking over your shoulder. 

There is peace on this walk. 

The trail around the Basin is equivalent to 14 flights of stairs. There are so many different angles to capture beauty. Tress in the bush; birds over the water; clouds playing in the sky: all are ready to pose for a picture. I find this a very spiritual place where worship is natural. 


One particular evening last Autumn, I captured the wharf for this image. I could not help but think about how many are on a similar path. Looking for a way across unstable water, they excitedly enter on a built path. Yet the path is incomplete. 

There are many paths to take through life. There are many spiritual leaders to follow. But to us, as Christians, ‘there is but one God’, the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 8:5,6). Our God teaches us not to fear. He calls us to sound minds. When you let your mind run away to fulfill negative alternatives, you are robbing your own being of its peace. You are stealing from yourself. Stop the robbery! Hold your peace. 

What is peace? It is the opposite of fear. 

Where is Peace to be found? It is found in Christ. 

How can you enjoy peace? The Corinthian passage emphasizes unity among Christ’s followers. Being at peace with your spiritual siblings allows individual peace to flourish. We are all connected. We are one in Christ. There is peace in Christ. 

Who was St Patrick?

Good question! There are so many legends about him it is hard to sift through the facts.

We now honor his memory with FUN—the Facebook images and work emails floating around prove that!


Here is a quick 2 minute video that is fast, fun and informative.
  • Watch “Who Was St. Patrick?”
  • St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, but was he really Irish?
  • Get the answer now by clicking HERE.
What I learned from the video
  • Patrick wasn’t born Irish but became Ireland’s national hero.
  • He is an inspiration for all of us who migrated to New Zealand…
  • All our devotion to serve Kiwis will one day be widely appreciated!
 Here is the classic old Irish Blessing for YOU:
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

A Mother’s Plea

Commencing my daily 4 km walk, I was suddenly confronted by a desperate mother.

She sprung forth from a car that was backing out of a driveway. She began shouting in my direction and ran toward me. In her arms was a limp baby girl.

English was not the first language of these recent migrants, but a mother’s plea for “help” can be understood by all.

The mother begged me to drive their car and speedily take her daughter any place where help could be found. Through the sobs, shouting, surprises; in seconds of time, I learned the baby had fallen and stopped breathing.


The grandfather willingly moved from the driver’s seat and became my co-pilot. I set the hazards flying, the headlights beaming, and the horn honking. I crossed through intersections with red lights during one of the busiest times on one of busiest roads in West Auckland. The “flight” from my suburb to the local hospital was soared at great speed.

All the while Mum was understandingly begging for help—and for me to hurry.

As she clung to her dying infant and comforted a toddler beside her in the back seat, the atmosphere charged me to land my car-plane speedily. 

I am happy to report the baby was resuscitated without incident. After ministering to the grandfather and his step-daughter, I returned to Grandma. She was relieved beyond description when I motioned to her that baby is “okay”. She immediately responded by putting her hands together and lifting them upwards with her eyes toward Heaven.

+ + + + + + +

The above incident is a true story drawn from my diary. By God’s grace, I have lived a full life here in Aotearoa.

Social Responsibility

It is impossible to create a system of Ethics from a position of isolation.

Universal principles about giving are now recognized within business operations. “To give is better than to receive.” The difficulty for Corporate is that receiving is the essence of their existence. Statistical data may indicate higher receipts if you give back and for some is the sole only motivation for a Corporate to adopt/partner with a cause.

It is the heart of the giver—not the act—that counts.

Sally informed me once how she was paying claims for a national insurance company. The claim was going through its normal process of investigation and delay. The claimant finally rang Sally and challenged the process. You see, the claimant was suffering from a particular type of cancer that the insurance company advertised as a supporting partner in its research.

Sally brought this to the attention of her manager. The manager then directed Sally to upper management. There they ruled in favor of the claimant to expedite the case. Why? Because they believe in their cause?

No, it was for the sake of public relations.

I’m afraid that many businesses adopt a cause solely for PR purposes. In other words, it’s about what they get instead of what they give. It is very difficult for money driven, profit obsessed organizations to embrace altruism. Yet their survival is dependent upon that very act: embracing the desire to give back.


Yves Smith posted a story on titled, “Corporate Greed is Killing Investment” (March 6, 2015). The essence of his argument is that the fixation on quarterly earnings sacrifices longer-term performance for short term gains. The obsession on ensuring shareholders are happy seems to be at the cost of prudent expenditures.

Challenge: Ethics is about giving for the benefit of others and not for self- promotion. Are your money decisions based on what is best for future generations? Or are you making financial decisions to meet an immediate desire?

Related Posts: