Sunday, October 7, 2018

When Words Hurt

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

I keep the Lord before me always. Because he is close by my side I will not be hurt. Psalm 16:8 (International Children’s Bible)

The nasty comment rose like a giant on the screen, threatening me with its cruel fist.

I felt terrible. For a moment, I stared, paralyzed by the vile and destructive words written by a stranger in response to my blog post.

Then I looked up. Like a child, looking up at her father, I looked up into my heavenly Father’s eyes for reassurance, for protection. I needed to know I was safe.

In today’s world of verbal assault, we will encounter people who disagree with our words, lash out at our writing, and mock the message of faith we offer. If you are like me, their words, regardless if they are true or not, will initially cut you to the heart. They can make us afraid. 

Let them not make us back down.

As Christian writers, we write Light. And at some point, we must take our light beyond the bright circle of friends and fans, out into the darkness. When we do this, we must be brave. But more than courage, more than boldness, we need the Lord’s guidance. We must keep the Lord before us always.

I keep the Lord before me always. Because he is close by my side I will not be hurt. 

This sweet translation of Psalm 16:8 for children speaks to two of our most basic needs, no matter how old we are: we need wisdom and protection.

When we keep the Lord before us, we are careful to go only where He leads. On our own, it is easy to stray into conflicts He has not chosen for us. We need God’s guidance and wisdom in our writing. When we are certain of our orders, we will go anywhere and write anything for our Captain.

In the battle, the Lord promises to be close by our sides. Though the giant raises his sword against us, our Lord will keep us safe. Our minds are protected by salvation, our hearts by the goodness and righteousness of Christ. We are made secure by truth and can defend ourselves with the Word of God. Our feet are protected by peace (Ephesians 6).

The high goal for Christian writers is to bring God’s light into the darkness. We are treasure hunters. With our words, we illuminate the dark places, finding hidden riches, people who otherwise might have remained concealed in the shadows of shame or fear. 

Human hearts set free are worth the risk writers take.

Wisdom and protection are promised when we seek the Lord in our writing journey.

Don’t let another person’s toxic response to your writing defeat you. We never know what someone else is going through, particularly the one armed with the fiercest arsenal of words. We probably do not know the story of her life. Pray for those who persecute you; bless, and do not curse (Matthew 5:44, Romans 12:14).

Be brave today, and write on!

"Don't let another person's toxic response to your #writing defeat you." Wisdom from @AudreyCFrank on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Audrey Frank is an author, speaker, and storyteller. The stories she shares are brave and true. They give voice to those whose words are silenced by shame, the hard things in life that don’t make sense, and the losses that leave us wondering if we will survive. Audrey and her family have spent over twenty years living and working among different cultures and world views, and she has found that God’s story of redemption spans every geography (geographical location)  and culture. He is the God of Instead, giving honor instead of shame, gladness instead of mourning, hope instead of despair. Although she has three different degrees in communication and intercultural studies, Audrey’s greatest credential is that she is known and loved by the One who made her.

Her upcoming book, From Shame to Honor, is an outpouring of Audrey’s heart to introduce others to the God of Instead. Shame is not unique to the developing world, the plight of the women behind veils, young girls trafficked across borders; shame is lurking in hearts everywhere. Through powerful stories from women around the world, From Shame to Honor illuminates the power of the Gospel to remove shame, giving honor instead. Look for it through Harvest House Publishers in the fall of 2018.

You can also find Audrey at, as well as on Twitter and Facebook


  1. "Light Writers"... what a beautiful thought Ms. Audrey. I believe I will come to cherish this encouraging word image young lady. Thank you! I also pray often for forgiveness for saying things the wrong way; and sometimes for what I've said being interpreted differently than I meant it. Am so glad God doesn't call us to be perfect. God's blessings ma'am.

  2. Awesome post. Thanks for sharing your heart.

  3. Boy, did I need this today. Fresh from a secular writing conference where I got a discouraging critique on my stories. My Missionary Kids stories are unabashedly Christian, with small, take-away lessons from God's word in each story. The critique person was an unbeliever. He said I should either write stories for children or teach Bible lessons. Why not both?? I wondered.

    1. In all fairness, he did say I was a very strong writer.