"The way you make other people feel says a lot about you." One of my favorite quotes. Do you know that your presence has an emotional impact on people? Did you know that your presence can bring joy to people or stress them out? It's true. We can probably all think of the people in our lives that we feel good after spending time with, whether its for five minutes or two hours. They build us up, they exude happiness and they bring life. But I'm guessing we can all think of that person or that group of people that we feel uneasy around, maybe because of the things they talk about or their constant negativity. We have the potential to leave a positive or a negative impact on others. I know someone that is incredible at speaking life; every time I am around her I walk away feeling like I could conquer the world. Not because she flatters, but because she see's the good in me and the good in the world around her. I just can't get enough of being in her presence! I have also been around those who, after I am in their presence, I feel negative and downhearted; stressed and beat up (emotionally).
I often wonder what non believers think after they spend time around Christians. Do they see something in us that they want, something that is different than what the world offers? Or do they see us complaining, gossiping, insulting others? Sometimes we do a disservice to Christianity by saying we believe one thing with our mouth, but contradicting ourselves with how we act. It is one thing to be happy and positive on social media, but it takes a lot more effort to actually live it out in our daily lives. We are instructed in scripture to not only be hearers of the word but doers. And what does the Bible tell us to do? How do we know the right way to treat people? By looking at the example of Jesus. He served, was tender hearted, didn't complain, forgave, spoke words of life and gave of himself. 2 Corinthians 2:15 tells us that we are the aroma of Christ among those who are are being saved and to those who are perishing. So what does the aroma of Christ smell like? I believe that Christ "smells" like joy, peace, hope, gentleness, patience, gratitude and the list goes on. Obviously we know we aren't talking about a literal smell, but about the aroma that we give off as believers.
So stop and think about it for a moment. If you were to ask your closest friends or family members how you make them feel after being in your presence, would you be brave enough to accept their honest answer? Or does just the very thought of it make you tense up? Do your co-workers hear you speaking life, do they see you building others up, or does your Christianity stink to them? We all have to take a self inventory sometimes in life, for me....it's on a weekly basis. How do I make others feel? Do they enjoy being around me or do my words and attitudes turn them off? What areas can I improve in? If the world will know we are Christians by how we love people, how good of an example are we setting? In this imperfect, flawed world, our lives can be examples to believers and non believers alike of the hope and joy we have in Jesus. I want to leave everyone I interact with feeling joyful and having a spring in their step, not because I am so great, but because the One living in me IS!