For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?
Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?
Have you ever been out with somebody who received strong reactions from strangers? With no apparent justification came an immediate like or dislike? Maybe your friend is a lightening rod, attracting sudden bursts of energy? Or maybe you, yourself, are this person?
I've enjoyed an immediate kinship with people of faith most places I go. Like we could share triumphs and tragedies of our personal journeys instantly. I've also encountered the opposite. Like I am despised for unknown reasons and my company is despicable.
In the superhuman smell department (where animals have powerful noses), perhaps their quick olfactory judgment is crucial for the creature's survival. Spiritually, is this true for us?
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Following today's two key Verses, the NLT's next Line reads like this:
'You see, we are not like the many hucksters who preach for personal profit. We preach the Word of God with sincerity and with Christ's authority, knowing that God is watching us' (2 Corinthians 2:17).
In your self-scent examination, remember a few critical points:
1) No matter how big agents can seem (as they present attractive offers), your principle Audience is God. Sweet smelling deals can be false perfume.
2) No matter how nice you are to them (in their possibly unaware hosts), demonic powers will despise you. To them, you smell like their coming death.
3) No matter how high noses may rise (as in smugly superior saints), their smell isn't pleasing to the Lord. Arrogance is a stench He abhors.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Self-Examination series.