Monday, September 5, 2011

Ah, a sweet aroma

In  2 Corinthians 2:15-16a, Paul states the following:  "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." Let's take a look at what this means.

Webster's Dictionary has two definitions of  "aroma." Definition 1a is "a distinctive pervasive and usually pleasant or savory smell." Think of the wonderful smell of a fresh flower,or the smell of coffee brewing. Or the smell of fried chicken cooking.  Definition 2 is "a distinctive quality or atmosphere." This definition is the one that fits the verses the best, I think.

So how can we be the fragrance of Christ to God among believers? I don't think that personal hygiene was what Paul had in mind, although that certainly wouldn't hurt. LOL!

I think what Paul meant was how we present ourselves as Christians.  Smell precedes sight. You smell the  fragrance before you see what is causing the fragrance. When you meet someone for the first time, how you treat that person is being the fragrance of Christ.  And how do we do that?  By being kind, courteous, caring and welcoming.  When a brother or sister in Christ is hurting, being there for them and helping if possible is being the fragrance of Christ.  When a fellow Christian is rejoicing, we rejoice with them. Worshiping the Lord with all your heart and soul is the fragrance of Christ to God. 

But what about the second part of that verse - the part about we Christians being the aroma of death to those who don't believe?  I think it means that our actions and words are so sweet that they are sickening.  The aroma of Christ that emanates from believers shows the lost how dark their souls are and what their eternal destination will be - unless they repent and trust Christ for salvation.

So think about how you are the fragrance of Christ in the world and how you can smell even sweeter. I know I am!  See you next time!