“Our lives are a fragrance presented by Christ to God.” (2 Corinthians 2:15)
Sauteing onions. Anything tropical. Blankets dried outside. All smells I enjoy. Each one brings to mind a pleasant thought or memory. My favorite aroma, though, is coffee. It draws me in, and I find great comfort in its fragrance.
Those closest to me, and even many not so close for that matter, know I love coffee. They know it makes me a happier person, especially in the morning. I blame my mom. She began the addiction when I was 13 by bringing it to me every morning when she woke me up for school.
My husband and others closest to me also know the coffee must be high quality. Don’t waste my time with the cheap stuff or if the coffee’s been sitting for a while and has that burnt, bitter smell — and putrid taste — to it.
My pickiness with the coffee led my husband to affectionately label me a “coffee snob.” If coffee doesn’t smell fresh and isn’t of high quality, I want nothing to do with it. Actually, much of the not-so-cheap stuff doesn’t meet my standards either.
A Sweet Fragrance
I wonder if my fragrance as a Christian draws people in like I’m drawn by the smell of good coffee or if it wrinkles noses like when I run into the aroma of sub-par or stale coffee. Are people repelled or drawn by my fragrance? Am I a “sweet, life-giving perfume” or a “hukster” unconcerned with quality (2 Corinthians 2:14-17)?
Even more importantly, what does God think about my aroma? He certainly desires to use every detail of our lives to illustrate his truth, to let his glory show through us (Colossians 3:17). He also uses that which we find appealing and that which repels us to help us better understand his desires for our living in relationship with him and with others, to help us understand the impact of our aroma.
Even coffee, which a person usually either loves or hates, can show Scripture application in a way that not only sticks but that finds us regularly. For me, coffee provides a daily reminder to check my aroma, to determine whether or not I am appealing to others, to ask myself, “Do I have an aroma that pleases God and draws others to His grace and mercy or that repels them toward the world?”