- In your workplace or church or school, or wherever applicable, can you think of someone you try to avoid? Why?
- At a gathering, do you excuse yourself when someone starts talking or shows up? Why?
- When someone suddenly appears at the hallway, cafeteria or the mall, do you say “uh oh”, or do you wave excitedly and make room for the person so he/she can join you? Why?
- When caller ID shows a certain name, do you let the call go to voice mailbox or do you excitedly pick it up? Why?
- Also, can you identify people by the perfume or cologne they wear?
How does answering the questions make you feel? Do you even have a “nickname” for these people?
Yesterday morning my devotion kind of put me in a “how-come-I-never-read-of -this-before?” reaction. I must have in the past, but it probably did not make an impact or wasn’t relevant at the time.
Paul, the Shakespeare of the Scriptures ( at least to me) was always sincerely longing and genuinely concern about the spiritual condition and physical welfare of his friends. He writes lovingly and speaks fondly of other people. Tender but never sugarcoat the truth.
In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul was explaining (not complaining) about his life as a missionary in Christ. At some point, he went on to say that Christians can either be the smell of death or the fragrance of life. -2 Corinthians 2:16
When I read this, I thought to myself “hmm, I wonder how people smell me?” Hence, the title and the questions. Like a flashback in a movie, I started remembering people who I tried to avoid because they were either toxic, stressfully overbearing but at the same time, I also thought of the people who I really enjoy spending time with -online or real life.
This kind of introspection does not authorize us to justify our indifference. It is a reminder to always smell good and release a pleasing fragrance. Like a popular air freshener are we “motion activated”? Do we automatically spray a delicious scent or an offensive stench? You pick.
The most thrilling part of what Paul said is this:
Our Heavenly Father delights and is pleased at the aroma of Jesus through us, is such an honor to be remembered that way. It is like smelling fresh brewed coffee in the morning (sorry, that’s the best I could do). We wake up and are drawn to the aroma of coffee and God is the same way, He is drawn to us!
As you seek the Lord today, ask for God’s help and guidance for ways to become the fragrant of life, instead of the smell of death. May people see us and be drawn to us because we “smell” of Christ and no one else.
Have a good one.