First let's consider a couple of quotes.
Pearl Buck wrote about how she came to see how her Christian missionary parents were mostly there for themselves:
... somewhere I had learned from Thoreau, who doubtless learned it from Confucius, that if a man comes to you to do his own good for you, then you must flee that man and save yourself.Then there is the conversation Ghandi had with a Christian missionary:
Let us think of the bulk of your people who preach the gospel. Do they spread the perfume of their lives? That is to me the sole criterion. All I want them to do is to live Christian lives, not to annotate them.It seems to me to be something like Jesus asked us to do by letting our lights shine. When you see light, it needs no explanation.
A person feeding the poor generously is glowing and draws in others. Whereas someone trying to save me most urgently makes me want to run away. A gentle person caring for others has that perfume Ghandi mentioned. An angry Christian, one who knows it all, repells me. If you take the words "Bible belt" literally you get a picture of the angry so-called Christian trying to force you to be an angry person too.
Ghandi also called us to be worthy of the message in the Sermon on the Mount. That is truly exuding the Christian perfume.
There is an attractive, drawing-towards energy in those who quietly live The Christ Way. So we can check ourselves. Am I letting my life, my light, shine? Am I an emissary of Christ? If you watch me live my life, does that point to a life of joy and peace that others want too? Is Christ calling to others through your perfume?