What comes to mind when you read these words:
Perhaps a song came to mind. Or maybe you thought of the prayer many of us say before each meal. Maybe a verse like this one came to mind.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Chances are, though, that you didn’t think of perfume. Yet, these words – amazing grace, living grace, pure grace, and inner grace – each give name to fragrances from the company philosophy.
The ad for their newest fragrance, living grace, says,
While I don’t appreciate their lack of capitalization, I do appreciate their tag line for living grace. I also like the idea of wearing grace as a scent, though I have not personally tested these fragrances and do not know if I like their particular scents. But I like the idea of smelling like grace.
The Ancient Romans had three different meaning for the word “gratia” from which we get our word grace. For them, “gratia” could mean:
- A pleasing quality – something you have or don’t have
- Favor or goodwill – something you give or get
- Gratitude or thanks – when you have something to be thankful for
These three meanings for the original Latin word for grace get at why I like philosophy’s idea of living grace. If we can connect with what grace truly means, if we can learn to live grace, our aroma will be pleasant to others.
God’s grace – His unmerited favor – really incorporates all of these meanings of the word, and it gives us the foundation we need to live grace in our own lives.
- God is full of grace. (Exodus 34:6)
- God’s grace makes salvation possible. (Ephesians 1:7-8)
- God accepts us by His grace. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
- God’s grace gives us hope. (1 Peter 1:13)
How, then, are we to live grace? Not only do the above scripture describe our God of grace and the qualities He possesses, they also give us direction for how we to can live grace in our own lives BECAUSE of His unmerited favor.
- Accept His gift of grace. It’s a gift; you can’t earn it. This truth is essential in order to live grace.
- Be slow to anger. Learn The Logic of Patience and keep Battling the Unbelief of Impatience.
- Be abundant in loving-kindness. Start by deliberately looking for ways to Instantly Make the World Better.
- Be abundant in truth. Take Every Thought Captive to the truth.
- Get wisdom and understanding. Learn How to… Develop Wisdom and focus on understanding.
- Take time to think. Learn How to… Develop Good Judgment that will help you think clearly.
- Develop self-control. The only way I have found to do this is by the increasing of the fruits of the Spirit in me.
At the end of Genesis 8, just after getting off of the ark after the great flood, Noah built and altar to the Lord and made a sacrifice to God. The NIV says in verse 21 that “The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma…” God then went on to promise He would never curse the earth again.
I desire for God to say that about my sacrifices too, and I want my sacrifices to result in God’s blessings. And while I can wear perfume that smells pleasing, that even smells like grace, I know that it is my purposeful obedience to live grace that is truly a pleasing aroma to the Lord.