a plate of cinnamon rolls and a china teacup

What’s Your Spiritual Scent?

As followers of Jesus Christ, we have a spiritual scent. With it, we can attract others and be a pleasing aroma to the Lord. But we can also give off a stench.

My sense of smell was heightened to superpower status during pregnancy. We lived in a gorgeous mountain town where, most mornings, I deeply inhaled the scent of fresh pine. I loved it. But one morning, all I could smell was cinnamon buns. 

I abruptly stood to attention and literally followed my nose to the home of a family friend up the street. 

I don’t know if it was my pregnant belly, the longing in my eyes, or the drool running down my chin, but as soon as she saw me coming, my loving friend rushed inside to put one of those steaming sweet buns on a plate for me. 

Did you know that, as followers of Christ, we give off a spiritual scent? Our fragrance can be pleasing to the Lord, and like my friend’s cinnamon buns, it can attract others. 

Our Obedience is a Pleasing Aroma to God

In the Old Testament, God’s people worshipped Him through offerings. As their offering of thanksgiving burned on the altar, the fragrant smoke wafted up and pleased the Lord (Exodus 29:18, 25). Today, we’re called to worship God by presenting ourselves to Him as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1). 

How do we do that? We worship God by obeying Him. Jesus said in John 14:15 NIV, “If you love me, obey my commandments.” Our obedience to God is a freewill offering to demonstrate our thanks to Him for His sacrificial love for us. 

The second greatest commandment we’re called to obey—after the first, which is to love God—is to love others (Matthew 22:37). When we love others well, we emanate that pleasing aroma to God—“…walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma” (Ephesians 5:2 NKJV). 

We Can Spread the Fragrance of Christ to Others

Our lives can also be an appealing fragrance that draws others to Jesus Christ. The Bible says that through us, God “spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ everywhere” (2 Corinthians 2:14). 

What are some ways you can spread the fragrance of Christ to others today? Could you call and pray for a discouraged neighbor? Would your husband be blessed if you took a chore or two off his plate this week? Or maybe you could bake some sticky cinnamon buns to share with a friend!

The truth is that you and I will inevitably fail at drawing others to Christ. Sometimes we give off more of a stench than an attractive sweet-smelling aroma. That’s because we’re sinners. But Jesus Christ is greater than our sins (1 John 3:20). He loves us even though we stink sometimes
(Romans 5:8), and He can love others through us despite our imperfections. 

Love: The Most Pleasing Spiritual Scent

The next time we spritz on some fragrance or light a scented candle, let’s remember to “put on love”—that sweet-smelling, pleasing aroma of Christ—and pray something like this:

Father, I desire to be a pleasing aroma to You. Thank You for Your love for me and for demonstrating that love by giving Your Son as the sacrifice for my sin. Help me to be a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to You. And help me to be fragrant with the love of Christ so others are drawn to the knowledge of Him, for their good and Your glory.

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