Summary: Discusses the attributes of a Christian that draws others to them.
The Power To Create Hunger
We often associate memories with certain scents. For example, when spring time comes you can actually smell the freshness in the air; the smell of fresh flowers or a newly mowed lawn. Many of us also have fond memories of Christmas and what I call the "scents of the season." Freshly baked cookies, cakes and bread all comes to mind when I think of the scents of the Christmas season. Our ability to "smell" creates so many opportunities for us. Our sense of smell creates both hunger and memories that stays with us throughout our lifetime. It also intensifies our ability to taste food; I will talk more about that later. This morning I want to talk with you about your smell as a Christian. I could have titled this message "Smelly Christians" but that would have taken us in the wrong direction and I want you to walk away this morning knowing that you have something within you that can draw people to Christ or push them away.
Have you ever been so busy that you forgot that you had not eaten? Maybe you had been so focused on the activity at hand that eating never occurred to you. To this point, do you ever recall "not been hungry" until you walked into a place, smelled something that made your mouth water and all of a sudden you were famished? In my message this morning I want to use this analogy to discuss how we, as Christians, are able to draw people to Christ (or push them away) by the fragrance of Christ that we give off or suppress. Our foundational scripture is found in Matthew 5:6 and 13.
I. Scents That Attract or Repel
Our sense of smell impacts has a direct impact on our hunger and our ability to taste food. Let me give you an example. When I was growing up, my grandmother would cook chitterlings during the winter. For those of you who may be unaware, chitterlings are hog intestines. When she would cook them, the smell would repel me. I refused to eat something that smelled bad to me. Goat cheese and cabbage are also ranked up there with the chitterlings. When I smell these foods, they do not create within me a desire to eat but they actually cause me to lose my appetite. The scent that food gives off when it is being prepared affects our hunger drive. If we like what we smell we get hungry. If we do not like what we smell we can lose our appetite. As I stated earlier, it is our sense of smell that help us enjoy the food that we are eating. Think about the times when you were so congested that you could not breathe through your nose. Remember how your food tasted? Possibly you could barely make out the taste of the food because your sense of smell was off. That is why you often see people pinching their nose when they are taking medicines that taste really bad. The pinching of the nose inhibits the taste buds in the mouth from really "tasting" the medicine. It is the smell (aroma) of the food that intensifies the taste (and enjoyment) of the food we consume. Whenever I am in the kitchen baking bread, no one in my house shows up to the kitchen until the bread comes out of the oven and the smell of the fresh baked bread reaches their noses. Once they smell it, they begin to make their way to the kitchen. It was not me working in the kitchen that made them come, it was the scent given off from the fresh baked bread that drew them.
There are scents that draw us and there are scents that repel us. The scents that draw us are pleasing to us. Some scents may be refreshing to me and that same scent could repel someone else. It is the same with cologne, some fragrances attract people and some do not. Because this is so specific to the individual, there will always be disagreements between individuals as to what really smells good. One thing is for certain, not every scent will be pleasing to every person and that is why we need a variety. Whether that scent is coming from food or perfume, there will always be a need for variety and that brings me to this point. As a Christian, does the scent you give off draw people to Christ or repel them. Turn to Matthew the fifth chapter and look at verses six and thirteen.
II. Christians Creating Hunger
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled….You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men." Matthew 5:6, 13