“For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the Word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.” ( 2 Corinthians 2:15-17, NIV)
It has been years since I have owned a new car, and I find myself a bit envious of those sporting a shiny new ride. There is nothing quite like that new car smell! Come to think of it, there are many aromas that tickle my nose in a most pleasant way: the smell of fresh brewed coffee, the fragrance of a spring rain, and an infant that has just been bathed and lathered with baby lotion. Those of us who are cooped up in offices or factories all day relish that first breath of fresh air as we step outside and make our way home in the evening.
We live in a world that is polluted not only with vehicle emissions and factory wastes, but also the effects of sin. Even the people around us can make us feel dirty by their words and actions. Many Christians are so busy conforming to this world that they are no longer the breath of fresh air that our world so desperately needs. Instead, we often reek of sin because we continue to wallow in the same bad choices and behaviors that everyone else is making these days.
The Bible tells us that we are to be the aroma of Christ among those with whom we live, work, and play. The only way to achieve that is to live out authentic Christianity by walking in obedience to the Word of God. It is impossible to be a breath of fresh air to those around us if we are no different than they are. The only thing that can set us apart is the love of Christ manifested in us and our commitment to follow him in complete surrender.
When you walk into a room or engage in conversation with someone else today, will you be the same old stale person or a breath of fresh air to them? Before you leave home, don’t just take a good look at yourself in the mirror; take a good whiff as well. If you smell the stench of your own sin, confess it to Jesus and ask him to wash you clean. Only then can you be the aroma of Christ among those who are perishing.