When I was little, my brother decided to call me “Petunia,” after the Looney Tunes character Petunia Pig, whenever he got mad at me. His mission? To convince me that my nose resembled hers. And, yes, as a 9-year-old girl, I was wrecked by the terrifying possibility that my nose might outgrow my face. In retrospect, I see Petunia Pig as a sassy little hottie. I think I’ll be ok. But this I know: Our words carry power. In fact, our words are power.
Kind, grace-filled phrases spoken sincerely can make our day, can’t they? “Cute shoes.” “Great job.” “You matter.” “I’m sorry.” “Love you bunches!” They’re a beautiful fragrance. Conversely, careless, unbridled words can crush us. Their stench can shrink us and knock us flat. Research (and experience) tells us that women, in particular, have a lot of words … words we can use for good or evil. What’s more, it takes as many as ten positive comments to offset one negative one.
So chew on this: What words are you speaking … to and about yourself, the people in your world, the God who uniquely created you and me and every other person on the planet? Are they fragrant or foul? Motivating or heartbreaking?
Hands down, one of the most transforming lessons I’ve ever learned is to harness my words and build intentionality into what I think, read, speak, and choose to believe and act on. It isn’t easy, as my brother might’ve told you just before or after an outburst of “Petunia” name-calling. But it’s so necessary in a world that can be harsh and in the face of an adversary who would love to overtake us with meanness, gloom and anxiety. As God girls, the Word – God’s Word – should be our first line of defense and offense, our source of light and truth, grace and hope. When we line up our words with His, we become the sweetest of fragrances for others to breathe in. A fragrance that will permeate Devoted Conference–and well beyond.
“Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God.” 2 Corinthians 2:15
God, I want to align my thoughts, words and actions with Your Word; to break off strongholds by Your truth; and to be a conduit of Your kindness, mercy and love. Heading into Devoted Conference, I ask that You help me begin now to speak life into my spirit and over what seem like impossible situations; to lift the people around me with words of goodness and hope; and to infuse faith into my conversations with You. Thank you that you make me a sweet scent rising to you.
Brook Chalfant xx