We are "the fragrance of God, the aroma of Christ to God among those who are perishing and those who are being saved."
What do you smell like?
Our aroma gives us away. Like walking in the house and smelling fresh baked bread, or beef brisket, or richly seasoned Italian sauce, the truth that these have been baked, roasted, or simmered is all taken in the moment we step foot in the door. Mouth-watering, hunger-raging, "When do we eat?"!
What is the fragrance of God that emits from us? The Message calls it an "exquisite fragrance" and a "sweet scent rising to God." It is Christ In Us. It is the aroma of Christ Jesus Himself. It is the aroma of life redeemed and released. It is peace that makes no sense at all except by God-mercy, God-grace and God-love extended and received.
Terrible aroma is also a quick give away. Opening the garage garbage can tells me there are dirty diapers or rancid foods within.
What would it take for the aroma emanating from me to be rancid?
A bitter, unforgiving spirit?
A greedy, stingy, self-serving heart?
Pent up anger and self-righteousness?
A critical, judgmental spirit?
Disordered loves and attachments?
Arrogance and independence?
These produce a rancid aroma that repels relational connection and intimacy with God and with others. Room freshener Febreeze sprayed over a nasty pile of garbage may cover up the truth for a time. But what produces death in our souls will eventually be exposed and known for what it is.
The good news−by God's grace and mercy toward us, the love and sacrifice of Christ and the indwelling Spirit of God produce the sweetest aroma imaginable. Like fresh baked cookies, it is an aroma that draws others in. It is an invitation to come, taste and see the goodness of God.
Lord Jesus, I want to exude the sweet aroma of your life and love. Search me and know me. See what evil and rancid way is in me. Remove, Redeem, Reconcile me.
Do what you will so that I may be evermore a wooing and fragrant invitation to others to come and receive you and your life lived out in them. Amen