The Nose Knows

tucanOur sense of smell is amazing. Sure, there are animals with a more keen sense of smell, yet smell is one sense we should not take for granted.

  • Smells can attract or repel us. I love the smell of a hickory or oak in the fireplace, but burning plastic or rubber is repulsive.
  • The taste of good is closely connect with smell. I just finished a cup of coffee with a hint of dark chocolate. The aroma as the cup came under nose enhanced the flavor of the coffee.
  • Smells can alter moods, just ask my sister-in-law about a citrus candle and her cat.
  • Smells connect to memories and emotions. My grandmother used to dry orange peels to make marmalade. Opening a jar of marmalade brings back memories of her house on the banks of the Ohio river and the peels hanging in the room, just outside her kitchen.
  • Smells can transfer from one person to another or a place to person. I mowed the yard for the first time this season on Saturday. The clothes I was wearing smelled like fuel and fresh cut grass when I put them in the wash.

This brings to mind something the apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 2:14-16, “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, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?”

Look back at Paul’s message. Do you see the words “fragrance” and “aroma?” Paul is saying we are to smell a certain way – we are to smell like Christ. I know that Paul is using aroma and fragrance figuratively. You know that Paul is saying that people should know we have been around Christ because we are like Him. (Fragrances; aromas; smells transfer.) If we are to give off the aroma of Christ, what does that look (smell) like? What are the qualities of Christ that attract people? I can think of a few: mercy, compassion, joy, patience, humility, love, the list could go on.

I leave you with a question.

Do you carry the pleasing aroma of Christ or do you stink?


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