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Ruined Words

Originally published Tuesday, 15 May 2012.


After school the other day, one of my girls climbed into the car and exploded with emotion.

For a few minutes I tried to make out the jumbled words through her distraught tears. Finally, I was able to understand what exactly was going on…

She had blown it.

A friend said something hurtful to her and so… she charged back with some angry words.

At the moment, everything felt right. Her strong choice of words and tone brought some immediate resolution to the situation: the girl left her alone. But later that day when she wanted to play with her friend again, the girl wanted nothing to do with her.

She was now left in the place of dealing with the consequences of those words: a relationship that felt ruined.

My daughter is in the midst of learning a [valuable] life lesson…

Words are the vessels that hold the ability to speak life or death to someone.

I wish I could tell my little girl eventually this life lesson will be learned and kind, gentle words are more easily spoken when we are hurt. But as a grown woman, I often find myself struggling through moments of “intense fellowship” and the choice words that come out of my mouth.

Lately, I have been coming to an understanding that if those unkind, hurtful words come out of my mouth… they have somehow been in my soul.


It is often the greatest depths of us that bring out the worst.

As I think through all the places of pain I hold in my soul: resentment, anger, bitterness, distrust… I am reminded how hurt will always be a portion of life. Yet somehow we must find the strength to not allow these heavy places to ruin our spoken and unspoken words.

The truth is, there is nothing more beautiful than deciding to make peace with our words.

For me, peace begins in the deepest place of my soul, with a fresh simple revelation of just how much Jesus loves this sometimes very broken-down girl. {John 3:16}


As I begin to grasp His love more, I am able to love through my words… even when hurt.

I don’t know if you ever feel like my little girl, ruined because of words. I have been there, more times than I’d like to admit. But perhaps today by admitting our struggles we will be on our first step towards peace.  

“Be cheerful. Keep things in good repair. Keep your spirits up. Think in harmony. Be agreeable. Do all that, and the God of love and peace will be with you for sure.” – 2 Corinthians 13:11 [MSG]