Every person carries an atmosphere with them. Some call it an attitude. I call it an atmosphere because it invades the room when they arrive and departs when they leave.
You may have noticed this. Someone will come into the room who is agitated or angry and the entire rooms seems to change, it just feels different. Although an atmosphere is not visible, it is tangible. I remember a time when I was at a family members house helping them do some projects. Everything was fine and peaceful. Then, their spouse came home and suddenly there was tension in the air. It was something between the two of them, however it affected the entire house.
We see atmospheres not only in people, but in marriages, families, churches and companies.
Atmospheres are powerful. In churches where Gods presence is valued, there is a different atmosphere from a church where religion is more prevalent that relationship.
Often leaders of the church set the atmosphere. In business, the executives or leaders set the atmosphere. Even cities carry an atmosphere.
I remember several years ago I had a meeting in Tulsa, Oklahoma one week and a meeting in Tampa, Florida the following week.
The atmosphere differences in these two cities, at that time, marked me.
When I stepped out of my vehicle in Tulsa, I felt faith. It was a tangible feeling and wow! It felt great.
When I went to my hotel in Tampa, it was a very different atmosphere. Very different.
As I thought about atmospheres today, I thought about the woman in Luke 7:38.
When a sinful woman from that town learned that Jesus was dining there, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind Him at His feet weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears and wipe them with her hair. Then she kissed His feet and anointed them with the perfume. When the Pharisee who had invited Jesus saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, He would know who this is and what kind of woman is touching Him—for she is a sinner!
This woman walked into a room of religious people. When she did, the atmosphere changed. The religious folk changed it with their contempt of the one who had just walked through the door.
They knew her. They knew about her and her sins. They were appalled that she would even dare enter their presence. However, the atmosphere was about to change again, drastically.
You see, she was prepared for her meeting with Jesus. She came with perfume in hand. Very expensive perfume. She came with purpose. She came with a love for Jesus that would alter the atmosphere. She knelt at His feet, when she did, you could almost hear people gasp. What was she doing??!
As she opened the bottle of perfume, a pleasing fragrance filled the air. A sweet-smelling aroma. With all eyes on her, she began to wash the feet of the one she loved with her tears and dry them with her hair. She didn’t rush. Lovingly, she ministered to Jesus. The love and forgiveness of Jesus had melted her heart and she responded to that love. Once she washed His feet, she began to pour the expensive perfume on them. Gently she rubbed it into His freshly washed feet.
Oh, she knew what everyone thought – she knew her sins better than anyone in the room. Yet she also knew His love was greater than her sin. Her attention was on one thing, the object of her affection. As the perfume filled the air, the atmosphere changed. Loved changed it and no one could deny it.
Still, the religious men began to question Jesus and ask how He could allow a woman such as this to even be in the room.
Jesus answered them. His answer was all about love and forgiveness. He said those who were forgiven much, love much. I know that love. I have been forgiven much…therefore my love for Him is deep.
Luke 7:44-47 says; Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
I love this story.
What atmosphere do you carry when you are with Jesus? It is one of love and admiration? Is it one of someone who knows they have been forgiven of many sins? Or is it one of a religious view of judgment of others?
What atmosphere do you carry when you are around people? Is it one of love, gentleness and kindness? Is it one of judgment and criticism? Your atmosphere can change the room…it can change a city…it can change your world.
May we cultivate and carry an atmosphere of the love of God and the peace of our Lord. May our light so shine before men, knowing, in this, our Lord is well pleased.
Meditate on this:
Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Cor. 16:14