“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 2:14-17 ESV
We have all had the experience of someone entering a room and altering the whole “atmosphere” because of their presence. It’s like they share a fresh fragrance (or horrible stench!) wherever they go. This can be for better or worse, and can be done without even speaking.
When Jesus, Immanuel, entered our human world, He changed more than just the “atmosphere”. Some people were appalled by His presence while others were transformed into His image, being able to share His renewing “aroma” with others.
As Christians, Christ uses us as His vessels, in order to share His Good News, game-changing “fragrance” wherever we go. Some will be appalled by this, for a servant is no better than his Master (John 13:16). The others whom God had predestined before the foundations of the world (Ephesians 1:4), will be drawn to the Source and changed forever more.
How do we know that we are sufficient to share Christ’s aroma to the world? Is it not merely the responsibility of pastors and missionaries? No. Paul says that we are “commissioned by God, in the sight of God” – Jesus’s last words to His fishermen disciples were to share His aroma to the ends of the earth (Matthew 28:18-20).
How are you sharing Christ’s aroma today? Wherever you are and wherever there are people, wherever God has planted you, there are opportunities to share His Gospel. Through simple love and kindness. Through patience. In humility. Through gentleness and self-control. Sometimes no speech is needed, but simply an open ear willing to listen.
If you feel (like me) that you have spread more of a stench lately than anything else, ask God to change your heart, that it may beat for Him and His people, and that you may see the world through His eyes. As this is God’s commission and will, you can be sure that He will answer your prayer.