The Smell Test

The Smell Test

This morning I walked out of my house, and an overwhelming smell hit me. It was the glorious smell of chicken manure. For those of you who don’t live near pastures or haven’t had the pleasure of smelling that strong aroma, it is an unmistakable foul smell. As I got in my truck to drive to the church, the smell was thick and it reminded me of a story from my days at Caswell. My friend and coworker, Mike Adams, is a master plumber. The few times I helped Mike work on the sewer system or plumbing at Caswell, he would always say, “Smells like money.” Of course, he always smiled and laughed after he said it. To the untrained nose, the smell of a sewer or chicken manure just stinks. To the plumber or farmer, the smell has a different dimension. I also thought about Paul’s words to the Corinthians in his second letter to that church.

2 Corinthians 2:15

“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.”

The phrase “a pleasing aroma” is found many times in the Old Testament, most often in reference to a sacrifice that was pleasing to God. Paul emphasizes that point in the New Testament when he writes to “walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2 ESV).

The question that then rattled in my head became, what, or maybe better stated…who do you smell like? Are you carrying with you the fragrance of Christ? Or something else?

I hope we will all remember to be filled with the sweet aroma of Christ every morning as we go throughout our day so that we might “speak in Christ”–encouraging, lifting up, and bringing the message of His hope to all those we encounter.

Grace and peace,


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