B.O. is a good thing-really!

August 31, 2010 at 8:25 pm (Music) (, , , , , )

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This month, I went to a Rush concert at the local amphitheatre with my boyfriend and his dad. The band was quite entertaining.  About 2/3rds of the way through the concert, though, there came a horrible, overwhelming stench, which I recognized as marijuana. But even as I type “horrible stench,” it occurs to me that the people who smoke marijuana probably love the smell of it.  The strange thing is, even after looking around, I couldn’t seem to locate the source. So I became glad for the relief of the changing direction of the wind.

I didn’t think much of the experience until I came across this verse in Ephesians 5:1-2: “Be imitators of God, therefore…and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us, and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” This was backed up and increased by 2 Cor 2:14-16: “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 being saved and those who are perishing. To one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.”

Have you ever used air freshener in your home to cover up a nasty smell? Have you ever passed by a teenage boy wearing too much cologne? The fragrance, then, is overwhelming. Sometimes it even lingers.  This makes me wonder what fragrance I leave. God has called us to be the fragrance of Christ, even when many in our lives may perceive that as the smell of death.

These thoughts have me praying that God would cover me with this perfume daily, so that I could be an ambassador for Him at all times (2 Cor. 5:20). Too often, I think, in an effort to blend in, we cover ourselves with a cologne from the world, and just as we can become accustomed to a bad smell like B.O., we become desensitized to this odor, as it overtakes the fragrance of a life lived for God. It creeps in, until it chokes the people around us.

Moreover, like the origin of the marijuana stench was not readily apparent at the concert-with many possible sources-we might not be able to find and extinguish it on our own.

Paul concludes verse 16 with a question: “And who is equal to such a task?” (Ch 2). A challenge to us–this perfume does not belong to us; it doesn’t come from the world, nor can it be imitated. “But our competence comes from God. He has made us competent ministers of a new covenant…” (2 Cor. 3:5-6)

What do you smell like?

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2 Comments

  1. Robyn Gunderson said,

    Thank you for this wonderful reminder of the reflection of His incomparable sacrifice for us.

    It reminds me that He doesn’t desire sacrifice, or else we would give it. He does not delight in burnt offering. Rather, the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart. We are to open our lips and show forth His praise!

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