“For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” 2 Corinthians 2:15
We have some major “aroma issues” in our neck of the woods right now. Actually, it’s affecting a massive area from the States up into much of British Columbia—the dreaded smoke. You’d think we would get used to the annual wildfires that ignite as if by magic and sweep through tinder-dry beauty, devouring everything in its path. But it still shocks us, rocks us, keeps us humble. Especially when we can taste BBQ with every breath of stagnant air.
The current fires are a ridiculously long way away from our city, and yet we inhale smoke like our backyards are on fire. Our brilliant azure skies have turned chalky white, and once-packed August beaches are desolate. It’s quite the transformation:
Milky waters and milky skies meet seamlessly. Amazing how desperately a body craves pure, fresh air when suddenly the atmosphere is filled with pungent smoke. Aromas carry a long, long way in the air. It’s both mystifying and terrifying. It can be used as a warning and an attraction. Delicious and debilitating. Precious and pungent. I’m SO not a fan of the whole smoke aroma…
We are told by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 2 that as Christians we are a “pleasing aroma of Christ” to God. Wow. That always intrigues me. What does that smell like exactly? Pure, fresh, sweet? Rich, heady, enticing? No matter, the point is that in Christ, we are PLEASING to the Father, and I love that.
If we are a pleasing or sweet aroma to God, then surely that means He delights in us. Sometimes I have to remind myself that God likes me. I know He loves me, but He actually delights in me, sings over me, likes the smell of me… all because of Christ.
But not only are we the aroma of Christ to God—the waft carries to those around us, those we rub shoulders with and those further afield… those aromas really carry a long way. Some will recoil at the smell of our faith, it’ll be worse than this wretched smoke, irritating to the throat and grossly unpleasant with every breath. Yet to those who are open to the good news of the Gospel, it will be beautiful and full of promise and hope—“an aroma redolent with life” (The Message).
I wonder how my aroma is doing these days. Am I having aroma issues? Is it oozing Jesus and undeniably God-filled, or more Estee Lauder Modern Muse?
Am I concerned with what others think of my aroma? Do I spend so much time wondering and worrying if I’ve said the right thing and and given the right answer and baked the right cookies and given the right encouragement, instead of allowing the beautiful fragrance of Christ to spill into the air around me, diffusing the scent of His grace? The Message puts it like this:
“Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance.” (verse 14)
Today, in this hazy city, I could spritz half a bottle of Modern Muse all over my sorry self and still smell like a bonfire. I don’t think anyone cares anymore—we all have smoke-filled nostrils. But what I CAN do is simply allow the aroma of Christ to permeate from my very life—my words, actions, and attitude. It will break through the stench of smoke, and will diffuse hope and truth love and light to all who will breathe it in.
What a perfume privilege! And it’s ours to share every single day…
Linking up with some fabulous encouragers! Check them out: