I was visiting a cattle ranch outside of Memphis. As my friend and I walked to the barn, he took a deep breath and commented, “Doesn’t it smell great? I love coming out here. The sights and smells are wonderful!”
I didn’t think so. Having grown up in the city, I told him I thought it smelled like something had died. He laughed. What had the odor of life to him smelled like death to me.
This reminds me of what the apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians about how people respond to the gospel of Christ. As we, His followers, journey through life, we proclaim the good news about Christ by our holiness and testimony. And our message is received in one of two ways.
To those who hear and believe, the story of Christ is a sweet, welcome aroma (2 Cor. 2:15-16). But to those who reject Him, it has the repulsive odor of death. The gospel forces them to face the thought of death and eternity, which terrifies them.
The bouquet of flowers that reminds some people of a pleasant spring garden reminds others of a funeral home. The message of salvation through Christ is the smell of death to those who do not accept Him. But to those who believe in Jesus, it is the wonderful perfume of life.
I want to be a fruitful Christian,
Winning precious souls for Thee,
Telling them of how my Savior
Gave His life to set them free. —Ozbun
Do others sense the fragrance of Christ when they're with you?