Do You Stink?

Do you stink? My dog stinks. No matter how much I tell her “NO!” and give her a bath after she rolls in stink, she goes back to the same old rotten smell producing behavior.

She rather enjoys the process and seems quite pleased with herself when she comes into the house smelling like dead bird, lizard, or whatever else she finds worthy of rolling in.  She doesn’t care about my opinion.  She knows in her heart of hearts that she has done what a dog should do.

But that’s not the stink I’m asking about.  Is your life an exquisite fragrance, a sweet scent rising to God, an aroma redolent with life?

II Corinthians 2:14-17 says, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among 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.”

In my research, notice the likeness of perfume and the aroma of Christ:

Perfume definition: a fragrant product that results from the artful blending of certain odoriferous substances in appropriate proportions.

Aroma of Christ: At times God artfully defines us by allowing situations to form a Christ-likeness within us.

Perfume: Perfume is also the purest and longest lasting of all forms of fragrance and sets the standards for its counterparts, such as cologne, toilet water, soap, powder, lotions, etc.

Aroma of Christ: The character of our lives should have a long-lasting quality to it that should set the standards for others to live by.

Perfume: The greater the artistry of the perfumer, known in the fragrance world as “the nose”, the more perfect each of its offspring will be.

Aroma of Christ: God has the purest “nose”.  He knows when we stink and when we have a sweet aroma. He is the greatest artisan of our lives.

Did you know that it requires some 3500 to 4000 pounds of rose petals to distill one ounce of perfume?  Speaking of analogies, that’s a lot of blooming in our lives as well as pruning!

Each perfume is composed of a top note, the refreshing, volatile odor perceived immediately; a middle note or modifier, providing full, solid character; and a base note, also called an end note or basic note, which is the most persistent.

Do you have a pleasant spirit about you when you’re on a superficial level with someone, maybe in the marketplace, volunteering at school…?  That’s the top note of our perfume.

When you get more personal with someone, can they see that you have a solid character about you?  That’s the middle note of your perfume.

Are the base qualities of your life persistent and long lasting or are they flighty and uncommitted?  That’s the basic note of your perfume.

We all want to have a pleasant spirit about us that is an “aroma redolent with life” (The Message), as well we should, as Christians.  However the verses also say “to some we are an aroma of death.”  That does not mean we are being rude, ugly and impolite.  It is talking about being an aroma of death to those who don’t want anything to do with Christ.  We are not to be so concerned about that.

We are to stink for Christ.

There was a woman who didn’t care what people thought of her in Matthew 26:6-13 “While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.  When the disciples saw this, they were indignant.  ‘Why this waste?’ they asked.  ‘This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.’  Aware of this Jesus said to them, ‘Why are you bothering this woman?  She has done a beautiful thing to me.  The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.  When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.  I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.’”

We are to stink for the One “who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.”  Like this woman (and my dog) not caring what others think but only being a sweet aroma to Christ.

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