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.

What is Pastoral Care?

The physiological aspect of healing is connected to the body’s five senses.

Medical and therapeutic healing is rooted in the understanding of these five senses. That is why I call this “sensual” wisdom. This wisdom is limited to only the five senses and the world-view is materialistic.

I’ve been involved with pastoral care for more than 30 years. I always looked at my work as supplemental to doctors and therapists. Pastoral care is not in opposition to the medical model of care. It is actually a part of that model.

Recently, I’ve been challenged to explain the relevancy of pastoral care in a medical environment. It has been a thought-provoking challenge!

My belief system of human composition is rooted in ancient scriptures. One text in particular sparked a 3 year research into soul healing:

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Wholeness for a human being is manifested by peace. This peace is demonstrated by a readiness for future events. The holistic balance is not just between body and soul, i.e. medicine and therapy; it is inclusive of one’s spirit.

A person’s spirit is just as much in need of ministry as the body and soul. That is why the New Zealand Ministry of Health endorses holistic care: care that incorporates both body and spirit. Care givers that specialize in spiritual care are called pastoral care workers.

Instead of sensual wisdom, pastoral caregivers use spiritual wisdom. Spiritual wisdom is the understanding of how one’s spirit interacts with its physiology.

According to the University of Canberra’s website, pastoral care workers are trained to minister among “the elements that make up a person’s sense of self, his/hers inner resources, resilience and capacity to cope”.

The inner world may be invisible to the five senses, but it is still experienced. Because the sensation of an inner world is not experienced by sight, taste, sound, touch or smell, it requires a “sixth sense”.

Persons are able to perceive something different than the five physical senses. Pastoral care professionals encourage individuals in the science of reception. Reception is all about perceiving the inner world—that reality that exists outside of the five senses.

It has been my experience that care for the inner world of an individual affects their physiology, providing comfort and peace not experienced with medicine or therapy alone.

History of the “Success” Concept

In reviewing material from a past interview, I was fascinated by a particular question. I was asked to give “a storytelling tour into the history of “success”.’ I wanted to preserve my response. The link to the complete interview is at the bottom of the page. I’d be interested in your thoughts!

My favorite place to start telling the story of success is with Moses’s successor. Moses was a nation builder schooled in Egypt and raised in royalty. He led his countrymen to new territory, gave them a civil code, and probably introduced to them their written language. How could such a giant be succeeded?

10 Commandments.jpg

That was the concern of Joshua, the one chosen to continue what Moses started. Joshua was encouraged to meditate and observe his actions to discover prosperity and ‘success’. He was empowered to do what Moses could not. Joshua’s story embodies all what we call success today. From Hebrew scripture, we learn Jewish culture connected success with independence, freedom, and abundance. It also introduces success as being sourced from spirituality.

As humankind evolved to unite nations through military conquests, the one-world superpower of Babylon was created under Nebuchadnezzar. Many assume that reaching ultimate power would define success; however, history records it differently.

The world’s most powerful leader went through a season of insanity. After several years, Nebuchadnezzar was healed. His public decree following the incident elevated wisdom, not power, as true success. It is one of the reasons why I emphasize in my book that success is not fame or fortune; it is living a life of fulfilment. The prominence of the Magi within the Chaldean culture confirms success was associated with wisdom.

Wise Men

The Greek philosophers give us insight into the next era of success. Plato’s ‘Republic’ is an articulation of collective success. It stands in contrast to individuals being successful. Although this era of democracy was strong, its balance was a collective rule through supposed wise leaders. The Greek idealism is a full development of what we first saw with the Hebrews and later Chaldeans. However, the modern era emphasized success as an individual empowerment.

The modern era roughly began with the American Revolution. It promoted the Greek ideal of ‘people power’ alongside the need for a Republic. This allowed individuals to pursue personal liberty within legal boundaries. Entrepreneurship was liberated for any person of race, birth, creed, or social standing to pursue. Entrepreneurship embodied the modern ideal of success.

You refer to success as ‘controversial’. In post-modern thought, there is more emphasis on the collective than the individual. Any controversy would be rooted inside scarcity thinking. The scarcity mind-set views life as a pie. If someone is successful, they are taking a larger portion of the pie which is consider unfair to fellow beings. However, success is rooted in abundant thinking. There is no desire to take from others. It is the thinking that the universe intends for me to utilize all that is available and if others want success, another pie can be baked. In fact, successful people desire to show others how to bake that pie.

The story of success is one in transition. Society’s ideals change as humanity evolves. It is why my sequel deals with 56 Notions of Ethics. Ethical Success is more important in post-modernism than individual success. The transition is why I believe there is no one set pattern for success. Every person is unique. Success for one person will not look the same in another. However, the principles of success preserved through time remain: independence, freedom, abundance, wisdom, liberty.

Link to complete Interview

Link to book: 56 Notions of Success