Friday, May 19, 2017

Permeating Aroma or Stench?



2 Corinthians 2:15-17 (NIV) ~

 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings 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, as those sent from God.

I have a lilac bush near my house and as I sit on the deck in the morning the sweet fragrance of its flowers wafts through the air.  Lilacs are my favorite flower and I love the scent.  Unfortunately, I cannot cut the stems and bring the fragrant flowers into my house, because my family and I will be hacking and wheezing and congested within minutes. Our allergies begin to act up.  So I have to be content to sniffing them in the wide open outdoors where their fragrance doesn't overpower my nose. 

Sometimes I feel like I overpower those around me who are not followers of Christ.  My faith is something they don't understand and I'm fairly certain my God-talk gets on their nerves.  However, my faith is a vital part of my life.  I believe without a doubt that God exists.  As a young teen, I realized my need of Him and made the decision to follow Him and His ways and there was never any turning back. 

When I think of all He has done for me, I cannot help but speak His name. It's like breathing for me. So for some my words and life may be a sweet aroma and for others, it may be a stench that irritates their senses.   

However, my desire is to live out my life as a Christ-follower.  That means the choices I make and the words I say and the attitudes I have need to reflect that.  I can't live with one foot in the world and one foot out of it. 

I think most of my friends who are not Christians have known me long enough to know that I do try and walk my talk.  I struggle just like we all do.  I mess up and blow it almost every day.  I am NOT perfect; not even close.  But because I am following the Lord, I do ask and receive forgiveness and am able to get back up and keep moving forward.  I'm transparent about it because I want people to know that it's Christ working in me that allows me to keep going.

And I try not to preach a sermon constantly.  I love the Lord and have faith in Him.  I do speak of Him because it flows naturally from me but I also know that nothing turns people off more than having someone constantly preach at them.  So my friends won't get a constant sermon from me.  But what they do get is honesty and yes, they will hear me speak about God because I believe He exists and works in me and that He can work in their struggles and concerns too. 

I hope my life is fragrant to those around me. My desire is to be a sweet aroma permeating the air and not a stench that causes people to wrinkle their noses.