Our sense of smell is amazing! Did you know that we can smell over 4,500 different odors? That’s a lot of sniffing! Even memories can be linked to certain smells like your Grandma’s perfume, your Grandpa’s pipe, your mom’s baking, or when your friends hair caught on fire. Smells can trigger feelings and emotions. If you had a bad smell experience your nose won’t let you forget it. Strong smells linger.
Think about your life as a smell for a minute. Let’s follow this analogy into your spiritual life. Have you heard this phrase before: “we are to God the pleasing aroma of Jesus.”? (2 Corinthians 2:15) When God smells us He smells His son Jesus. How is that possible? Salvation in Jesus means we take on a new identity. We become a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17) Jesus didn’t die just to give us a ticket to heaven, He died to give us a right relationship with His Father. Jesus rescued us from sin and death so He could present us to God the Father as holy and pleasing to Him. (Colossians 1:22) We remind God of the work and person of His son Jesus. But does our life remind others of Jesus?
1 – When’s the last time you did a Smell Test on your life?
You better take a minute to evaluate whether your behavior matches your identity. What do you smell like? We all smell of something. Our decisions, actions, and attitudes all give off an odor. Maybe your odor reflects you. Maybe your odor isn’t pleasant. Maybe your odor is putting people off. Are you willing to evaluate your life right now? Here’s the disconnect: while we are saved to smell like Jesus our behavior doesn’t always smell good. While God can still see Jesus in us as our identity our behavior doesn’t always back it up and we become an unpleasant stench. Don’t stay in your stench. It would be ridiculous to smell a dead animal in your house and not do whatever it takes to remove it.
Some people try to cover bad smells with loads of air freshener instead of removing the bad smell. Don’t do this with your spiritual life. Don’t think that if you just add on more “good” Christian things to do it will take care of the stinky parts of your life. You need to remove the source of the smell altogether.
2 – How you smell either Helps or Hinders people from connecting to Jesus.
Jesus did just save you for a heavenly destination, He saved you for an earthly mission. Our job is to smell like the love, mercy and grace of Jesus. The world around us is full of smells like; anger, hopelessness, greed, depression, doubt, bitterness, etc. We have the opportunity to bring a new and different fragrance into the mix. We can be the aroma of the gospel. The gospel is the greatest story ever told. It’s a story of rebellion and rescue, of sin and salvation. I want the smell of my life in Jesus to attract some sniffing. I want my life to connect others to Jesus so they can smell good too! (I Peter 2:12) Strong smells linger. If you follow Jesus with all that you are your aroma will linger with those you know. When things fall apart in their life they’ll call you. When their relationships break up they’ll cry on your shoulder. When their success fails they’ll ask you the tough questions about life. There’s something powerful about the smell of Jesus.
I threw up in my car one time and it took forever to get that smell out! Fortunately, Jesus can get the stink of sin out of your life right away. Maybe you’ve evaluated your life and it smells bad. You are living for yourself more than God. You are still holding on to that one sin. You are hurting those around you with your attitudes and actions and you feel stuck. You are not stuck in your stank. God promises that through Jesus we can be forgiven and cleansed of sin as soon as we ask. (I John 1:9) He is faithful to clean us up and get us back on mission for Him. We don’t have to spend months trying to get our life to smell better, Jesus can refresh our fragrance right away.
Because of Jesus we can smell good before God. Then, with the power of God’s spirit, our hearts and behaviors can began to reflect our identity. We are God’s and He is ours. Everyday we have the chance to put on the aroma of Jesus. We have the mission to smell different and to attract people to a loving God who saves. So next time you put your deodorant, perfume or cologne on remind yourself to smell like Jesus today.