Do You Smell?


You are probably thinking that is a weird question to ask. The truth is though that I am not referring to some putrid smell, but to the beautiful aroma of walking with Christ. Smell has long been associated with the followers of Christ. 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 says, “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?” 

What Is That Smell?

As a child growing up in the ’90s, I might have answered that smell is what the Rock is cooking. The infamous line from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s time in the WWE permeated many living rooms and middle schools around the country. However, I want to discuss the fragrance that followers of Christ are to permeate into their friend groups, jobs, and every encounter they experience as they walk faithfully with the Lord daily. If Scripture tells us that believers are to spread the fragrance of Christ among those who are perishing and being saved. Are you the smell of death, or life, or do you smell at all? I pray brother or sister that you have a sweet aroma about you when you walk into a room. 

If you think hard enough you can probably remember a time when a smell left an imprint in your memory that now when you smell it, it takes you back to that moment like you are there again. For me every time I smell freshly baked sugar cookies it takes me back to the kitchen watching my wife and kids decorate cookies together and just enjoying the moment. Or we have smells that we associate with significant events like the smell of a turkey freshly out of the oven for Thanksgiving or the smell of peppermint to Christmas. My point is smell is associated with many experiences in our lives whether good or bad, so are we as believers leaving a smell that imprints the minds of those we encounter positively? When the salesman comes to your door for the fifteenth time this week is the impression he leaves with different than the doors he knocks around you? None of us are perfect so this is not an indictment on you if you have ignored or even been extremely short with someone at your door or in any other interaction. I know that I have had those moments far more times than I care to admit. However, we have to remember that every encounter we have is not just with flesh and bones, every person we interact with is a soul that is either reconciled to Christ or separated from Him. 

Closing thoughts

Jesus said to the disciples, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35, ESV). While Jesus is speaking of the love His followers are to display for one another in this passage as a sign of how people will know we are His disciples. This love extends past the boundaries of the Christian brother/sisterhood, as we were all once on the outside looking in before the Father drew us to Him

Brother and sister, I pray that you will be the aroma of God in your sphere of influence and the smell of your presence leaves an impression upon those you encounter that cannot be quenched until they have tasted the sweet joy of knowing the One who stepped down from a throne to die a slave’s death that we may be able to dwell in His presence forever.

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