Dr. Amanda Goodson
“You smell really nice!” All of us have heard these words in some form or fashion and it brought a big smile to our faces. It may be a momentary satisfaction that the perfumes and colognes that we wear are noticeable, giving us an “aura of distinction” - we smell positively wonderful!
However, there is a fragrance that is like no other. This fragrance extends beyond earth to reach the spiritual realm, all the way to the throne room in heaven! It is the fragrance of Christ that allows you to respond to others in a godly way. For those who attempt to live a better life for Christ, as you separate from your past, you may encounter difficulty. But hold on and move through the process and be a witness to others to follow.
A friend, we will call her Brenda - a manager in a small business, told me an interesting story about a situation she was placed in recently at work. She had begun to live her life for Christ through her actions to be more self controlled and kind to others. Her co-workers liked her “old style and approaches” better.
One day, Brenda walked into a management meeting and could tell that this meeting was going to be different from the others she was accustomed to participating in. She said, “even the air smelled different in the room” on that day. Brenda said that “during this meeting no one would even look her in the face, no eye contact was made, and no one would answer her questions. As the meeting was coming to an end, one of the managers turned to her with her noise turned up as if she smelled something bad, some disapproving aroma, (still avoiding eye contact) and made a statement about her character. For twenty minutes she was attacked professionally and personally by three of the four managers in the room. She said she was “shocked and then saddened” by their words but at no time did she try and defend herself. She told me she remembered silently praying that God would forgive them! She was praying for them! Brenda has been trying to live the life of Christ. She would be the first to tell you she is a work in progress and believes that God will protect her. When this uncomfortable meeting ended Brenda thanked everyone in the room for “bringing their thoughts to her attention” then left the room praising God for the change he had made in her life.
A couple of weeks later, Brenda listened intently to her pastor’s message which was appropriately titled: “You Smell Like Christ”. It was a powerful message, one which she thought at that moment had been specifically written for her. Although she had not shared the details of the meeting with anyone, she felt that this sermon definitely explained her earlier encounter. She was able to discern some of the discreet outcomes of being saved and being born again. Brenda now understood that sometimes when you try to live for God others may not like the “new you” and the fragrance that Christ brings when you enter into the room. People may even turn on you, belittle you, and try to find ways to demean your existence or a task you’ve been assigned to do. Others however, may love this new change in you.
I’ve shared Brenda’s story with you but there are many others who have had similar situations. Please know that the central focus here is not the people who attack you. It is also, not you. It is all about becoming like Christ and living your life for Him.
Jesus, thank you for being my Lord and Savior – for through You, I smell, think and look like You. Holy Spirit, thank You for being my seal of redemption – for with you I have comfort, strength and guidance. God, I thank you for being my Father and Source. I am eternally grateful for all Your blessings. In Jesus name I pray. Amen