Words are powerful.
They are formed in our minds and our spirits and drive us toward our destiny. They build up our character, bind us to people, and shape our perceptions of how life is to be lived. They can cut us deep, or lift us up. Set to music, they are timeless.
There are two words in particular that can cause us so many problems. Always and Never.
We find these words everywhere — in marriage, in parenthood, in friendships — they form the unconditionality that promises we will remain true no matter what. They hold us in covenant with each other and before God. They are the the substance of what lets us know we can count on someone even when the chips are down.
Life has a way of changing a lot.
I have lived long enough to witness these words broken and maligned. We all have. My antenna goes up when I hear them bantered about. Too casually they are used. Too intently do we want to believe them, expecting that those who say them will not give to them an expiration date. Sadly, we cannot always count on them.
Those who speak these words without the character to back them up, think they come with a clause — I will always love you, I will never leave you, I will always be here…. As long as it’s convenient, something or someone better doesn’t come along, or it looks like there is more fun to be had somewhere else.
Do people not realize the damage they do?
What I have come to understand, is that we humans are so doggone fickle. We are always looking out for better, always comparing, always thinking we deserve an unmeasurable supply of whatever our hearts fancy. We never imagine ourselves not being there for those we love, being unfaithful, or turning our backs and walking away. But somehow, it happens. People justify their actions by an unforeseen list of conditions or scenarios that they think releases them from their obligations if and when the time seems right.
All of this is the work of the enemy.
God said to Adam and Eve — “You can have all of this always. You just may never eat of the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” What did they do? Listening to the serpent, they allowed their hearts to create the exception to the rule of Always and Never. The enemy won. This is the birthplace of sin.
We’ve been paying for it ever since.
My point is the opposite of what it seems. I don’t want us to look for reasons to question another’s word or motives. I don’t want for us to be suspect of people who pledge to be there, who promise they will always do and say the right things and mean them til forever. We are all going to fall in big and little ways. We are all going to cause or experience heartaches.
I guess what I’m trying to say, is that what makes our Always and Never’s binding, is when we trust and seek God’s ways and not our own. He takes all the variance of truth and holds them for us. When we follow Him, He keeps us on the path of righteousness and he reminds us of the covenant He has with us. When we are seeking Him in all we do, we honor Him and each other in doing right, in living by His Word and by the words we exchange with others who love and depend on us to be who we are called to be.
We will no longer listen to the world when it says that it’s okay to break your word, to sin, to live according to our own needs and desires. We will live righteously and love unconditionally.
Does this mean that heartaches and broken promises won’t still come? I wish that it did.
All I know for sure, is that when I follow God, I don’t give the enemy an opportunity to change my words into something else.
God says that He will never leave us nor forsake us. He will be with us always until the end of time. In Numbers 23:19, it says “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change His mind.” Always. Never.
I still believe in Always and Never, because I believe in Him. Where man has changed them, God will not. And though our hearts have suffered when these words have been broken, God will mend us. He will lead us to others who are faithful and true. Good will always come from evil — somehow, someway.
You are never alone. He is with you always.
His Word is cannot be broken.