The Fragrance of Christ

By Mickela Rutledge

When was the last time you did something for someone else? Seriously when was the last time you placed someone else's need before your own? The last time you bought someone lunch who needed it? Or maybe volunteered at a soup kitchen? Or simply listened to someone who really needed to talk? These are questions that have been heavy on my mind for the past several weeks. As I have been seeking God in prayer and journaling. I realized how self-absorbed I was. I always thought of myself first: my dreams, my desires, and my needs. Always wondering how God was going to fulfill them. 

God speaks against self-centeredness. Philippians 2:3-4 reads, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others". Our lives are so much more than ourselves. Our lives are so much more than the next cute outfit or our education and even our finances. Now in theory, I do believe that these things are important and that God wants us to live fulfilled lives, but they become a problem when we are so consumed by these things that we ignore the needs of others.  We should reevaluate how much of an effect and impact we are making on those around us. There are so many people who are hurting and in need. We as Christian women should be meeting those needs and doing all we can to lessen the pain that others are feeling. Before I noticed how self-centered I was, I often did not notice how much my family and friends needed my attention and time. Some of them only needed a listening ear from me for a couple of minutes or needed help paying for a lunch or dinner. 

There are so many simple ways that we can help others and reach them for Christ. When Jesus started his ministry on earth he met the needs of others first and built a rapport with them and then let them know how much he could change their lives. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, and gave his time to people who were ignored in society.

Colossians 2:16 reads, " Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things". I challenge you to take your eyes off of yourselves and open your eyes to the needs of others. We are to be the fragrance of Jesus and an example of his love and that starts with helping with the needs of others. That could be giving a friend a ride who needs it; or maybe helping that person who needs help paying for their groceries in front of you at the store; or simply calling a family member and letting them know you love them and care. The needs are endless. Rely on the Holy Spirit to show you needs that you can help with. You never know what a simple gesture can lead to.