On Mother’s Day, my family gave me a new bottle of my most favorite perfume. I’d been out for a month, and to my surprise, I’d missed it. Never having been much of a perfume girl, it wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I really claimed a “scent.” It came when I moved to a town far from my mother. After one of her visits, I went into the guest bathroom and could still smell the comforting aroma of her perfume in the air. It brought back memories of my childhood home right after she’d gotten ready for bed or for church and the air all around her smelled like…Mama. Standing in my guest bathroom that day, I decided to steal her scent. I wanted the comfort of her fragrance when she wasn’t around. I liked it. It pleased my senses and my soul.
God is no stranger to perfumes. He completely understands the power of our senses, smell included. I never thought much about God having a nose until Mother’s Day, when I opened my new gift and reveled in how blessed I was to smell again that beautiful perfume. Just as the smell of my mother’s scent pleases me, when I exude the aroma of Christ, I am pleasing to God. II Corinthians 2:14-15 states, “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” The scent of the Lord Jesus Christ is spread into the world through our very being. Our knowledge of Jesus Christ and his gospel can penetrate the air like a perfume, wafting into the consciousness of others. Does my knowledge of Jesus impact my actions, my words, my manners, my heart, my very essence? If my mother’s scent can impact me on the inside, how much deeper can the scent of Jesus uplift a soul?
The verses go on to explain that to some, the scent is reminiscent of death and to others it is an aroma of life. Not everyone is willing to follow Jesus, and His goodness stinks to them. Not every Christian is willing to die to his or herself and accept Jesus’ lordship, and so the smell of Jesus and the conviction His presence brings is not always welcome. But what about those who are perishing? What about those who are looking for something to lift them up out of a pit, to stir their soul and save their very life? What happens when the scent of Christ draws near? It awakens life.
Lord, may my life be a fragrant offering to you. May it please your heart. I don’t want to stink before you, even if I am stinky to people in the world who reject your Son. Please forgive my stinky ways. I want my life to embody the beauty of Christ—even all the way down to his very scent. May people who come in contact with me sense something about me that is life-giving and beautiful and pure and peaceful and loving…something that they desire. May they sense the living presence of Christ in me, and may I be bold to explain what it is they are “smelling” and point them to you. And may Mama be okay that I adopted her scent. In Jesus’ name, amen.
So, what’s that scent I’m wearing, you ask? Well, let me just tell you. 🙂