Every Family has one: The verbally abusive person that "dis-graces" the family Holiday gatherings.
Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
This week, I encountered just such a person. This is someone who has claimed to be a Christian, but in short order they used of some very un-Christian and un-wholesome talk toward their spouse in my presence.
After spending just a few more minutes in the presence of that person, I heard sarcasm, labeling, name calling and gossip and it was capped off when confronted with justification.... "that we just cut up!" Cut up is right... Lacerate is more like it.
I know this person has done this for a very long time and that they think this inappropriateness is somehow appropriate banter. This person has become very immune to the idea that at the least it is offensive behavior and at the most it is verbally abusive.
I watched others who came in with this person looking at one another when I called the abuser by their given name for calling their spouse by a very unwholesome label.
Abusive People Create Abusive and Broken Relationships.
In Ephesians 4: 29 - 30 Paul teaches us: "Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building up the one in need, and bringing grace to those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption."
Paul Further Calls Christians to Imitate God
In Ephesians 5 (New American Standard Bible) 1Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
3But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; 4and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9(for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.
14For this reason it says, "Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."
15Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
Note Verse 4 "and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks."
Paul speaks of this foolishness further in Romans 3:13 their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit; the venom of vipers is on their lips; 14 their mouths are full of cursing and of bitterness;
Name calling and abusive language is not wholesome talk that builds one up.
SO WHAT'S THE DANGER OF BEING AROUND FOLKS LIKE THAT?
1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil companions corrupt good morals.34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
I can only imagine that someone being labeled as "you old goat" or "you old fool", probably doesn't appreciate such statements as wholesome or building up either. Certainly not worthy of giving thanks for.
Sadly, I also observed repression which has likely grown out of such abusive behavior. This most likely... because to say anything about it gets one ridiculed as sensitive or more aptly put down as someone who can't take a joke! (Which actually happened)
VERBAL Abuse is NO Joke!
James teaches us in James 3:6
The tongue also is a fire, a world of wickedness among the parts of the body. It pollutes the whole person, sets the course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
Jesus taught in Matthew 12:36"But I tell you that men will give an account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."
Matthew Henry Commentary
12:33-37 Men's language discovers what country they are of, likewise what manner of spirit they are of. The heart is the fountain, words are the streams. A troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring, must send forth muddy and unpleasant streams.
Nothing but the salt of grace, cast into the spring, will heal the waters, season the speech, and purify the corrupt communication.
An evil man has an evil treasure in his heart, and out of it brings forth evil things. Bitterness, Lusts and corruptions, dwelling and reigning in the heart, are an evil treasure, out of which the sinner brings forth bad words and actions, to dishonor God, and hurt others.
It's Thanksgiving: Let us keep constant watch over ourselves, that we may speak words agreeable to the Christian character.
Be Imitators of Christ! Let's Keep "Thanks" in our Thanksgiving events.