Yes, it’s true, you did just read that title right…
No, I’m not crazy. Okay, not completely at least… ha!
“For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.”
~2 Corinthians 2:15 (NKJV)
I also like the way that the Contemporary English Version words it:
“In fact, God thinks of us as a perfume that brings Christ to everyone. For people who are being saved, this perfume has a sweet smell and leads them to a better life. But for people who are lost, it has a bad smell and leads them to a horrible death.”
As I was flipping through my Bible this morning, skimming some of the notes I had scribbled in the margins, this verse basically jumped off the page at me. It wasn’t one that I had paid much attention to before, I think I had maybe underlined it in pencil as I listened to a sermon in the past, but I couldn’t let it go this time.
As Christians, we carry the “fragrance” of Christ. Our lifestyles, how we treat others, the language we use, all point back to Jesus. We need to be mindful of these things on a daily basis. Is the way you live your life giving others a good or a bad fragrance of Jesus? Is your life drawing others to a life with Christ, or “stinking” them out and pushing them away?
Don’t live your life so that you label yourself as a “Christian” but act, speak and treat others like you’re not. Being a Christian isn’t just a title, it’s not just a box you check on your Facebook profile, it’s a way of life. Those that call themselves Christians but treat it as just a label are those that end up pushing others away from Christianity, or make the “fragrance” of Jesus smell like “stinky socks.” No one is perfect, we ALL make mistakes on probably a daily basis. Yes, we have the grace of God, but that doesn’t mean that we should take advantage of it and use it as an excuse to sin.
God wants us to give it all we’ve got and make Jesus smell as sweet as possible to those around us. We need to live lives that draw others to Him. Love and forgive others as God loves and forgives us. As followers of Christ we have been trusted to carry the message of life or death, if we don’t live a lifestyle that gives Jesus a sweet, welcoming fragrance, we’re ultimately pushing the people we encounter throughout our time on earth towards “death” instead of a life with Jesus.
The Reformation Study Bible expands on these verses saying:
“Figuratively speaking there is a pleasant fragrance, spiritually perceived, about true Christians. On the other hand, this fragrance is a “fragrance from death” to unbelievers, for it warns them that they are unprepared for the day of judgment.”
“Carrying a message of eternal life or death is a sobering responsibility. No one is worthy of this solemn task, but God qualifies us for it nonetheless.”
Just a few things I thought about as I came across that verse thins morning. Take a minute to look at your life and ask yourself:
“Am I living a life that’s making Jesus smell sweet to those around me, or is my life making Jesus smell more like stinky gym socks?”