Saturday, April 17, 2010


Like crumbled crackers, broken words are scattered into thousands of dusty pieces.  Only God can take their dry, brittle, breaking moments and reshape them for His glory.  With His handling, fatally spoken words and broken promises will no longer be death letters.      

A hot pink brush I bought at the beauty supply store was wrapped in plastic, printed with promising words.  They were clear:  the brush would soften skin.  "May even use on hands and elbows."  I bought the barlike scrubber, took it home, unwrapped it, and placed it by my bathroom sink.

I wanted softer hands, so before walking away, I could not resist an immediate trial.  I soaped up with silky expectations and began to scrub. 

"Owww!"  I gasped, startled.  The very touch of its harsh nature against my sensitive knuckles hurt!  I tried again, with a much gentler touch.  No way!  Its sandpaper texture was hopelessly painful.  My hands were quickly reddened even by light scrubbing. 

I wondered if I had picked up the wrong package.  No, I absolutely remembered the writing on the wrapper.   

The words were a broken promise, and all I could do was feel regret.  I could not change the nature of the scrubber's gritty, pink sand.  It was what it was.  Disappointed, I placed the pumice in a container with my pedicure brushes. 

Disappointment is the natural product of broken promises.  The broken words on the wrapper of the pink pumice only cost me a little pain and $1.10.  It was a simple, frivilous experience.  But other broken words, sincere-seeming, heart-spoken letters of promise, cost so much more.  Their pain is real and deep; they are complex and drastic.

We have all known the deep pain of failed letters.  We have all experienced life's climatic changes of broken words.  Words undone.  The unravelling of language delcared with assurance.  Such seasons cast clouds over our souls.  They wound to our spirit's core.  Our hearts are cut by their vanity and meaningless shards. Their faithless nature rocks our world and our faith in those who spoke them, and it can threaten our faith in God. 

As a pastor's wife, I have seen many suffer with the sting from promises failed.  Words spoken were first apples of gold.  Their eventual intangibility turned them rotten and bitter.  The spouse who promised to never cheat again; the repentant father who drank again; the children who said they would never do drugs again; the mother who promised she wouldn't leave anymore; the parents who pledged prayer with their children but were always too busy; the boss who said he would understand missed days but never did; the insurance company who said they would pay medical costs but blamed someone for not reading a clause; the family who in great disbelief realized the hopeless words of a doctor who had said everything would be OK; the teenager who married to honor her parents and later dealt with deep betrayal of her new husband.  And, you can think of so many you know who are victims of words unfitly spoken.

Words unfitly spoken are the opposite of those Solomon spoke, when in Proverbs he said words fitly spoken are like "apples of gold in pictures of silver" (Proverbs 25:11).  Appropriate words are beauty.  As perfect and ripe as the most lucious apples in the most exquistie setting is the language of love.  Fit words are appealing, and their appeal is appetizing.  Their taste is sweet.  Their gift, comforting and nourishing.

Yet, "unfit" words are unhealthy, unappetizing, inappropriate, and incompetent.  They, contrary to golden apple in pictures of silver, are rotten fruit in a moldy basket.  They are voices of vice, meant for destruction.  Sour.  Bitter.  Unedible.  Indigestible.  Such is a picture of broken promises, or malicious daggers.     

Perhaps you have encountered the dagger of unfit words.  Someone you held in esteem told you something that created a chasm in your relationship, or someone misled you, either intentionally or not intentionally, which brought a sea of grief to your life. 

I have encountered unfit words.  Plainly, it is pain at its worst.  It bruises the soul and scars the heart.  It creates bondage and breeds rejection.  YET, touched with God's healing balm, the worst wounding words become beauty.  Like a sweet butterfly, they join enjoy transformation from a stale, embryonic state to winged life.  The ugly, vile, vain language no longer holds captive but is captured by the Creator and remade into God's glory.

Transformation is possible, friend!  It is God's gift for all His wounded warriors.  In many points of dark crises of my soul, God has spoken light into my nightmares.  Illuminated with Jesus' love, I have had to cling to shimmers of hope until Christ casts His cross in my waters and healed me.  Each time, it was a marvellous miracle in my life!  It still is.  I am comforted so much to know God hears every spoken word and wayward thought.  I can, with promise, share the joy of God's grace that is only found in a healing Jesus.  And, I will forever praise Him for His pure words that were and are a curing, comforting balm.

If you have received unfit words, please now receive the following unbreakable promises.  Set their purity and holiness and perfect fit above your painful memories.
  • The "words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times" (Psalm 12:6).
  • "All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal" (Psalm 119:160).
  • "The eyes of the LORD keep watch over knowledge, but he frustrates the words of the unfaithful" (Proverbs 22:12).
  • "So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:11).
  • "'My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever,' says the LORD" (Isaiah 59:21). 
  • "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away" (Matthew 24:35).
  • "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you" (John 15:7).
Dear friend, God is faithful, loving, merciful, and healing.  He loves you with zeal and passion.  He covers you with that love because you are His child.  His very own.  And He watches over you and yours.

Take heart this very day and give all broken words to Him.  Jesus will speak to every letter the enemy has lodged in your soul.  He will reach into that secret place of your spirit and pick up all broken promises.   He will handle them.  Reshape them.  Breathe on them.  Give them new purpose.

With His handling, fatally spoken words and broken promises will no longer be death letters.  They will be language of life and living.  What once caused refluxive bitterness will become promise and peace.

God heals. . . . He's reaching now toward your worst word wounds.   

Glorifying His Transforming Power,

List your own scripture that edifies God's word in your life.  Meditate on its reassuring truth and be prepared to use it during temptations and discouraging times. 

All scripture is from the NIV.
Definitions from


  1. HI Andrea!
    It's nice to hear from you. Not too many hours go by before I am reminded to measure my words. Yikes.
    I have always liked the look of "working hands" but mine really SHOW the wear and tear! Remember those old Dove commercials? The old hand and the young hand?

  2. Amen...those precious "unbreakable promises" from the Word...

    My prayer is to always pause before saying any words that might be unfit and harmful to others...especially towards my family...since they see my at my worst....

  3. Andrea, Reading your blog is always a breath of fresh air. I just love it!

  4. Isnt it comforting to know that there is One who never breaks promises, to whom we can turn in times of disappointment.
    Thank you Andrea.
    And your soap reminds me of the old 'Fairy Liquid' advertisements about having soft hands if you wash dishes with 'mild green Fairy liquid'!

  5. You are so right again, dear Andrea...this world is full of broken promises, and unfit words that have hit our hearts like real daggers. Even as I write these, and the words you wrote still fresh in my mind and heart...I remember a few dagger words that have been spoken to me by a loved one.

    It is true that our comfort is in God's words alone, they will never fail, He is a promise keeper. He honors His words. That is our God.

    And what has worked best for me when I was the victim of failed words, and words that stung and wounded me and my family... is to release that person in forgiveness. It has worked the best with me, it has cleansed my heart, and it has enabled me to run faster to the One who quickly pours His healing balm into my wounded heart.

    Thank you for this lovely post!


  6. He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.

    Proverbs 13:3

  7. I have not only been on the receiving end of "unfit words", I've spoken a good many of them myself! It's why my blog title contains Psalm 19:14 ... "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, O Lord."

    I've also learned that it's from the abundance of a person's heart that their (and my own) mouth speaks. Thus I have further learned to fill my heart with Him and His word, and to pray for others that need to do likewise.

    Unfit words have great difficulty residing alongside His!

    Blessings & hugs,

  8. It is important to think before speaking. I have been hurt many times by unfit words and sorry to say I probably have at times in my life hurt others. It is a blessing to have Gods word and to know I can always trust it. Blessing in Christ. Dee

  9. The words of your mouth and the meditation of your heart continue to bless and speak to my own!

    Love you ndrea,


  10. Hello sweet friend... I got a little side tracked from blogging. I have a new blog, three of them. I'm so glad I found you again. Thank you for the wonderful post....always full of The Lord's peace.
    Your friend,

  11. Andrea,

    Your words are beautiful! It's amazing how much pain words can cause and it is wonderful to know that the Lord's words are filled with love and healing:).



  12. How thankful I am that God is one who never breaks His promises. He is a covenant keeping God. This post is so true--and I've told myself many times to not put faith in people again, but time and time again, I'm burned by their broken promises. Just makes me that much more appreciative of the One who is always true.

  13. Words have the power to hurt or to heal.

    I want to speak healing words.

    But sometimes, it's hard to control what I say.

    Hey, it sure was fun getting to meet you face-to-face this afternoon! Hope you enjoy the rest of the conference.

    Talk to you soon.

    Sweet dreams.

  14. dear andrea,

    sonja sent me over here, and i am so glad. what a
    sweet encouraging message for those who have been
    wounded by cheap, empty words.

    thank you for reminding us about His faithful ones.


  15. Please just go ahead and write your book, so I can hold it in my hands and treasure it slowly and in the dark of night with a candle burning. OK?! This is holy ground, here, friend, and I cherish your giftedness to write words of purpose and words that are, like our Lord's, solely based on truth! Just this morning, I ran across some scripture cards that I had typed a season or two ago. This particular verse jumped out at me...

    "For everything was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." (Romans 15:4)

    I like knowing that the Word I hold in my hands is enduring...

    Indeed, it has endured and will continue to be the hope and encouragement I keep in my heart for always.

    Love you, friend, now write that book!


  16. That is so beautifully written, and I love those scripture verses. Thank you for your sweet visit tonight. Blessings ~

  17. It is so wonderful how God so eagerly takes the wounds caused by hurtful words and transforms them with His promises from His true word and heals us! This is a beautiful piece and so needed!

  18. "Your promise is well tried, and your servant loves it" (Ps. 119:140) How well you have communicated the treasure we have in God's promises and faithfulness! To whom else can we go??? He has the words of life!

  19. Thank you for encouraging me today.

  20. Two verses come to mind, one regarding the fact that "out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks."

    Secondly, I think of this:

    "If anyone speaks, he shoud do it as one speaking the very words of God." 1 Peter 4:11a

    Thank you for communicating words of grace and promise here.

  21. Hi Andrea! I just wanted to drop by to tell you what a lovely blog you have! I love the conversation you have inspired, and your deep look into your faith. xo Kari

  22. Lord, set a watch over my mouth!


Thank you for visiting. I cherish your thoughts. You are special to me, but most of all, you are special to God, who loves you with everlasting love. May your life be swept into His joy and peace.

In the Wonderful Love of Christ our Savior,