So the other day I was walking down one of the hallways in my office building, and a guy walked past me and as he moved past a flood of cologne passed by as well, and it got me thinking… in the same way that our “scent” leaves a lasting affect, our words leave a lasting affect. They speak to who we are and to what we believe. (By the way, I’ve always struggled with when to use “effect” and “affect” so feel free to comment and let me know that I used it wrong there ^).
Whenever I’m around upbeat, positive people I leave filled up and fresh. Those who are positive create a sweet and lasting aroma, and people desire to be around them. Yet, I’ve realized that after hanging out with somebody who is negative or filled with complaint, I leave feeling drained and exhausted. They have a repugnant aroma that lingers long after they have gone. Just as important, if not more important, are the words we don’t say. “If you see something beautiful in someone, speak up.” I love that. There are times when someone says something encouraging or nice to me out of the blue. Those simple words can change my whole day. If just one encouraging word can lift up a person’s day or week, why would we hold back from speaking positivity?
We also need to speak truth over our own lives. I believe the devil’s number one target is our minds. The devil fills our minds with lies. You don’t matter. You are dispensable. You are not enough. You have failed too many times. You aren’t worthy of love. He fills our mind with doubts. This valley you are in is going to last forever. You are not making a difference. You didn’t actually hear from God. You have nothing to share.
The only way to combat this is through truth and life. One thing I’ve decided to start holding myself to is memorizing scripture – specifically scripture that directly combats lies satan is feeding me. Isaiah 26:3, “He keeps him in perfect peace whose mine is stayed on Him because He trusts in Him.” That’s the latest verse I committed to memory. Actually verbalize life giving, positive words over your life. Speak your prayers out loud. Write down the truths and promises God shares with you so you can go back and speak them over your life and remind yourself. Lastly, surround yourself with people who enhance you, challenge you, make you better, and speak life over you. So, I guess my question is, “What aroma follows you as you leave the room?”
One last thought. In order to surround yourself with people who challenge, inspire, and better you, you have to be vulnerable and open. A book I’m reading right now has really been challenging me when it comes to my friendships and future relationships. I think sometimes we think we have to say the perfect thing to get people to like us or love us. We have to be funny and charming and perfect. We build up this disguise and hide behind who we think others want or expect to see. I know I have been guilty of this. I spent all of high school and some of college trying on different masks for different people – boys, friends, family members, strangers.. This was exhausting, and in doing so, I lost the very person I was made to be. If someone were to ask me what I’m most passionate about, this would be at the top of the list. God didn’t put time and thought into creating you in His own image and likeness with specific and unique qualities in order for you to behind a disguise. Like a painter shows off his/her painting, God longs to show you off to His world. When we live behind a disguise we cannot build community and we cannot fulfill our purpose. Sorry, random tangent, I’ll have a post on this later.. but for now, be who you were created to be and develop deep life giving relationships and be known for speaking life over others and yourself.