Must lead with this
What's your smell?
What do you lead with?
What do you give off?
When people see you coming, do they smile or think 'ugh'?
What's your smell? Thinking of what Paul referenced in 2 Corinthians chapter two, when he describes us as an aroma . . . let's be honest for a minute--what aroma do you give off to others?
We gotta lead with love.
Several years ago, I was on the elliptical machine at the gym, and looked to my right, where two well-built, youngish blonde men were going crazy on their stationery bikes. A second glance revealed that both were reading their Bibles, which was kind of unusual in the gym. Since I was studying my Bible notes to write, we made quite a trio! And of course, I had to press in a little closer.
Jumping on a stationary bike closest to them, I asked about their Bibles; both were responsive, both loved Jesus and did not care who saw them. We continued to talk and before we parted company, I asked how I could pray for them. [This is a common practice of mine-especially with young people-because the pressure they face is enormous. Except for one elderly man at the gym, no one has ever turned me down, but he is another story for another time.] So Dave, Caleb and I locked arms right in the middle of the gym and I prayed for both of them.
In short order, both came to Fellowship of Christian Athletes (and the Sunday night portion I started, 'Sunday Night Live', with more time to take the students deeper), that I was leading at San Clemente High School. The students loved Dave and Caleb because they were disciplined athletes who were trying to live out their faith in God. Dave became one of our leaders and faithfully came to share and pray with our athletes. The most remarkable thing about 'Big Dave' as we called him was that when Big Dave walked into the room, LOVE walked into the room.
Reminds me again of Paul's writing to the believers in Colossae, We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God's people-
Epaphras1 brought news to Paul in prison, commenting that he told us of your love in the Spirit.2
Actually, I have never met anyone quite like Dave ~
so willing to embrace with a hug and a big smile,
so willing to give of himself from the love he has and lives for God.
It is contagious ...
it spreads when he is in the room.
When I am around it,
I want to be swept up in it,
I want to become like him.
I want others to feel and know the love that comes from faith
in Christ and the hope we share in him.
If the aroma that comes from you isn't pleasing, ask God to increase your love for him and for others. I know that is my regular prayer! So that others would notice that our Christian love is patient and kind,
never jealous or envious,
never boastful or proud,
never haughty or selfish or rude.
--that our love would not demand its own way,
would not be irritable or touchy...
--that our love would not hold grudges
or even notice when others do it wrong.3
Let's lead with love, what do you say?
1 - Epaphras was a preacher of the gospel to the people in Colossae. He brought news of the church and its goings-on to Paul while he was imprisoned in Rome
2 - more from Colossians 1
3 - 1 Corinthians 13.4-5, The Living Bible