Tuesday, June 14, 2022

What do you smell like?

A few years ago about this time of year I walked into a convenience store and the clerk asked me how the yard work was going. I hadn’t told him what I had been doing but he figured it out - probably based on how I smelled. You know that yard-work smell – a mixture of freshly cut grass, gasoline, and sweat. It’s hard to believe they haven’t come out with a designer fragrance for that one.

Sometimes our smell can give us away. After camping you carry around that smoky campfire scent. If you've been around smokers, discerning noses can detect that odor. After you’ve cooked out some burgers or hot dogs your aroma goes ahead of you. Our scent can reveal a lot of who we are and who or what we’ve been around.

What do you smell like?

Of course, I’m not talking about our odor picked up by the noses around us. I’m talking about the attitudes and impressions we emit when we walk into a room. You know some people that can just bring down a room by walking in. Or others who can brighten up a room just by their presence. We all carry with us some smell.

Isn’t it logical to assume that those of us who have been around Christ should have a certain aroma? The apostle Paul seemed to think so. In 2 Corinthians 2:15 he wrote, “Our offering to God is this: We are the sweet smell of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are being lost.” Christians should smell. We should carry along with us the sweet smell of Christ!

When people are in our presence, they should smell the pleasing aroma of love and forgiveness. They should delightfully inhale the scent of patience and peace. People around us should smell the sweet smells of hope and joy. Christians ought to be the smelliest people on earth! When we enter a room there should be no doubt who we’ve been around.

But isn’t it true that sometimes we don’t smell that good? Instead of hope, we bring despair. Instead of patience, we bring anger. Instead of joy, we bring grief. And then we put on the deodorant of fake smiles and insincere niceties, but through the deodorant people can still smell our rancid odor. What’s the problem?

We smell like who or what we’ve been around. We smell like a campfire because we’ve been around a campfire. We smell like gasoline because we’ve been mowing the lawn. We smell like despair because we’ve spent too much time around the decaying world. We smell like Christ because we’ve spent time around him. It’s really our choice how we smell.

What do you smell like?

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