Words and Abuse

Every time a person either verbally or emotionally abuse another person, words are used as the vehicle to convey the abuse. Words have the ability to build others up or to tear others down. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)





Attacking a Person’s Identity


Addressing a Person’s Action


— You are inherently wrong.

— You are intrinsically bad.


— You did something wrong.

— You did something bad.






— “Shut up!”

—  “You look awful.”


— “Please listen, we need to talk about (__________).”

— “Let’s talk about what might be more appropriate for you to wear.”




Casting a Vision


— “You stupid idiot!”

— “You crazy fool!”


— “You are good at (__________).”

— “You have positive qualities.”






— “You’re worthless!”

— “You’re disgusting!”


— “Your life has tremendous value.”

— “I can see areas where you have much appeal!”


A Negative Picture of the Past


A Positive Picture of the Past


— “I wish you’d never been born.”

— “I should have had an abortion.”


— “I was glad the day you were born.”

— “I knew God had a special purpose for you when you were born.”


A Negative Picture of the Present


A Positive Picture of the Present


— “You can’t do anything right.”

— “Get lost!”


— “You do a lot of things right.”

— “You’ll always have a home in my heart.”


A Negative Picture of the Future


A Positive Picture of the Future


— “You’ll never amount to anything.”

— “You’re hopeless.”


— “God has a wonderful plan for your life.”

— “God has a future filled with hope for you.”


“ ‘I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ ” (Jeremiah 29:11)