Attracting Others

As Christians, our goal is to see others make the decision to live for God. To repent of their sins and live in obedience to God’s Word. In order for those who haven’t made that decision to get there, we must make Christianity attractive. But how do we do that? Because what they know of Christianity doesn’t appeal to them. If someone hasn’t read and studied the Bible, all they know about Christians is what they do and don’t do. What they stand for and what they stand against. They think it’s all about rules they don’t want to follow.

Look like this. Don’t look like that. Wear this. Don’t wear that. Go here. Don’t go there. Drink this. Don’t drink that. Say this. Don’t say that. Sleep here. Don’t sleep there. Rules like that don’t attract too many people. But what message are we sending when we say and do the same things they say and do? What sets us apart? What makes us different if we’re just like them?

And it really shouldn’t be an us or them kind of issue. Should it? But for this moment, let’s think along those terms. Just to see where it takes us. No judging. Just considering how to appeal to those who don’t call themselves Christians. Because really. We are in two sets of camps, based on our beliefs.

How do we make living a Christian life appealing to those who don’t want it? After all, the Bible tells us that we who believe carry the scent of death to those who don’t believe. Yet the aroma of Christ is sweet. But they can’t smell the sweetness. So why would they want it? Who is attracted to stink, after all?

Some people think they need to change. To clean up their lives before they turn themselves over to Christ. But he doesn’t require that. He invites you to come to him just as you are. He will let you know when or if he wants you to change.

Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this? 2 Corinthians 2:15-16

The gospel is offensive. It has always been offensive to those in rebellion to Christ. God isn’t going to change who he is. We need him to change who we are or face the consequences!

Samuel E. Tolley III

And those who haven’t accepted the message of salvation and repentance think we are fools for believing it. After all. If we’re good, isn’t that good enough? Some would say so. But for those who believe the Bible speaks the truth, we know that being good isn’t good enough. Because we’re never going to be good enough on our own. We need the saving blood of Jesus Christ to wash away our sins. We need to repent of our sins and ask for forgiveness. Then we, too, will be covered with the life-giving perfume.

The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18 8

So. If the gospel is offensive to those who don’t believe, how do we make it un-offensive? How do we attract others to faith in Christ?


You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Philippians 2:5


Of course. The Bible gives us some guidelines to follow in order to attract others to Christianity. We must show love to everyone, even when we don’t feel like it. And especially when others don’t deserve it. We must be joyful. Joy comes from a deep abiding peace that when we trust God in all circumstances. We must pursue peace with everyone. Even when it’s difficult. We must turn the other cheek, but we don’t have to allow others to walk all over us. We’re told that patience is a virtue, but it speaks volumes when put into action. Being kind to others should be a given. We think. But sometimes we have to try a little harder than expected, but the payout is worth it. Goodness and faithfulness. Gentleness and self-control. When others see these fruits of the spirit in our lives, they will wonder how it’s possible to live in such a manner. We have the opportunity to show that Christ living in us makes us more like him. And that he makes a difference in how we live our lives. We always have a choice as to how we live and how we treat others. And a godly lifestyle is attractive, even when others don’t know where the godliness comes from.

We always have a choice as to the type of employee or employer we will be. Go to work and do a good job. Be faithful. Be diligent. Speak up when necessary. And keep quiet when necessary. Others will notice. Be a good neighbor. Show kindness to those in need. Be generous, but not overly frivolous. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Don’t complain or argue.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another. Galatians 5:22-26

Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Philippians 2:14-15

We believers can do this. We can live a life that makes others want peace, joy, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Oh. We may not get it right every time, but let’s show the world that they need what we have. And let’s do it with grace.

Signature Scent

I remember when I was introduced to essential oils. The women were smelling each oil and oohing and aahing about how great each scent was. Then the bottles were passed to me. I got a whiff. It wasn’t pleasant. Each of the oils smelled awful. I couldn’t figure out why anyone would think these oils smelled good.

But I got hooked on them. Somehow. As I began reading about them and experimenting, I fell in love with them. I began using them for simple health issues. And I found that they worked. I could get rid of a headache with peppermint. I could stop the bleeding from a scratch or a cut with lavender. I could clear up an earache with melaleuca.

Now I find that I enjoy the scent of the oils. I know the good that they can do for me, and the scent is comforting. I’ve fallen in love with essential oils.

I recently started using a new oil. When I opened the bottle for the first time, I was overwhelmed by the scent. It was unfamiliar and pungent. It was a scent I didn’t like.

I began using the smelly oil as I had planned. And as I opened the bottle each morning, I would turn up my nose. It just stunk. But I continued to use it.

I’ve noticed a change, though. Within the last week or two, I don’t even notice the scent when I open the bottle. It’s become familiar and comfortable. I have become accustomed to the scent, and I’m not offended by it.

Now I can’t imagine my life without the oils. They signify life and health to me. At times, someone will smell an oil I’m wearing. They’ll ask about it. I have an opportunity to share what I know about the oil, and why I am using it.


God uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. 2 Corinthians 2:14


I am a believer. I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. I have fallen in love with him, and I want to have a close personal relationship with him. I’ve read in the Bible that believers are a life-giving perfume to other believers, but an awful stench to those who don’t believe. We smell of death and doom to those who haven’t made a commitment to follow Christ.

Those who don’t believe are appalled by the scent of believers. Oh. We don’t have a distinct scent. But our relationship with God is a sour reminder that they have denied him authority in their lives. We are a reminder that they have chosen a false god over the one true God.

Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this? 2 Corinthians 2:14-16

People who don’t know Christ are appalled at his scent on believers. They are repelled by it. It’s a strong offensive odor. Once they meet him and allow him into their life, the bad odor becomes a life saving aroma.

I want to be prepared to give an answer for the reason I believe if I’m ever asked. I want the aroma of Christ to become a fragrant perfume for those around me.

What is your fragrance of choice? The aroma of life or the scent of death and destruction.