One day a few years back I had a very funny conversation with my daughter, Peyton. She was curious…why was the neighbor dog always coming over into our yard and then sniffing Buddy's backside? I giggled and remembered many years ago when the exact same question flew out of my precocious and curious mind. I just said, "Well, honey, that is how doggies get to know each other! She quickly replied, "Wow, I'm glad people don't have to do that!"
In 2 Corinthians 2:15 – 16 the Bible tells us that, "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 the dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life giving perfume."
The fragrance of Jesus
I know we don't literally go around sniffing other people to get an impression like dogs do, but I really do believe our lives give off a fragrance that is either pleasant or not so pleasant in the spiritual realm. It's a strange but Biblical truth. I remember visiting a friend once who wrote me a sweet note afterwards that said, "Leslie, thank you for bringing the fragrance of Jesus into our home." Wow. To this day, that was the greatest compliment I've ever received.
Have you ever tried to make someone like you who just didn't? It's exhausting, isn't it? I have often been known to be a people pleaser but no matter how hard I try, I cannot make someone like me. Especially if they are among those who are "perishing" — those who do not believe in Christ and honestly think I've gone off the deep end. Apparently, according to the above Scripture, I'm the "dreadful smell of death and doom" to them and nothing I could do in my own power would ever change their mind. Only God can change someone, not me. I'm reminded during those times that man's rejection is always God's protection.
It seems safer and less exhausting to live to please God, who finds my aroma to be very pleasing and pleasant and to pray for those who do not accept me for who I am, instead of fighting with them or trying to be someone I'm not in order to make them like me. God loves me just the way I am and every day I am so thankful that His love for me is unconditional. It's rather freeing, isn't it?
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What does your life smell like these days?