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. (2 Corinthians 2:15-16)
Misty and I like to go to Bell Buckle and eat at the Bell Buckle Café. Of course, when we do this, we also end up shopping in some of the boutiques surrounding it. As Misty looks at clothing, home decorations and other items, I tend to gravitate towards the candles. I like candles. I’m not sure that’s a “manly” thing to say, but I enjoy the different scents and creativity that go into them.
The other day, as Misty was browsing a store, I noticed a display of candles. I saw one that said, “It’s My Birthday”. It smelled like a birthday cake. I saw another that said, “Pumpkin Spice” and it smelled like the pumpkin smell we associate with fall. I then picked up another candle. This candle was labeled “Backroads and Bonfires”. I was anticipating a smoky scent similar to a bonfire. Instead, I smelled soap. No scent of a bonfire. I’m not sure what a backroad is supposed to smell like, but I can’t imagine it would be soap. It was confusing. Why would you label a candle that smelled like soap with a title that had “bonfire” on it? The scent was misleading. It didn’t match the label.
The apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 15 that, as Christians, we are the “aroma of Christ”. In other words, we should smell like Jesus. Of course, this doesn’t mean physically. Instead, it means that we should be so close to Jesus that when we are present, people feel His presence. When we speak, people should be reminded of Him. When people see us love and serve our neighbors and total strangers, they should see the hands and feet of Jesus in action. When people see and hear us, they should see and hear Jesus.
How do you smell? When people see you are they reminded of Jesus? When they hear you speak, do your words reflect His kindness and love? When you interact with your family, friends, neighbors and people who you don’t even know, do they see the love and compassion of Christ? Are you pointing people toward Him as you live your life? As people move around you do they detect a whiff of Christ?
If we call ourselves Christians, we must smell like the label. When people “open” our lives and see what we are about, the aroma of Christ should engulf them. They should walk away saying “that person is a follower of Jesus”. No one likes a mismatched label. We like to smell the real thing.
How do you smell? It’s something to think about as we contemplate the life Christ is calling us to live.