Despite her large personality, Grandma smelled, and we all smelled her before we ever saw or heard her.
Grandma loved Youth-Dew from Estee Lauder, a perfume described by marketers as exotic and opulent. And she loved lots and lots of it. I, however, thought it was icky and strong.
Because Grandma liked it so much, the smell permeated everything around her–her car, her apartment, and her clothing. Yet, later, we discovered the scent—her scent—had more staying power than she did. The furniture, keepsakes, quilts, and books she left behind thirty years ago still give hints of her signature perfume.
I’m sure my grandmother thought she smelled delightful, and my opinion never stopped her from spritzing it on with abandon.
We all put our scent out into the world, regardless of our hygiene products or cologne choices. Paul addressed this in 2 Corinthians,
Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God.~2 Corinthians 2:15a NLT
It is humbling for us to think about our level of responsibility noted in that statement, but there it is. We must be so Christlike that our fragrance is His fragrance. Our character should be like His. Sometimes, we are surrounded by people who exert foul odors of jealousy, greed, gossip, and despair.
More than anyone, Paul realized we are not innately sweet-smelling people. Our attempts to smell more Christlike are progressive—one of those two steps forward, one step backward journeys. Paul shared the secret in the previous verse. Becoming captives of Christ and allowing Him to lead our lives, allows us “to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume” (2:14b NLT).
Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God.~2 Corinthians 2:14a-15b NLT
When we exhibit Christ foremost, we become a life-giving perfume to others. Our sweet fragrance manifests itself as kindness, genuine interest, love, concern, and encouragement. But Paul also knew that not everyone would enjoy the lovely scent of Christ. Some will find it offensive and think we reek of death and doom.
Don’t allow others’ opinions to keep you from spritzing the scent of Christ. Wear the sweet fragrance of Christ as Grandma wore her Youth-Dew–with confidence and joy.
With whom can you share the fragrance of Christ?
Heavenly Father, help me to exude your fragrances of love, kindness, patience, and every spiritual scent. Thank You for the privilege of sharing Your Son’s message of salvation. Let this be my life’s mission. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2021: Grandma Smelled: Cynthia Mendenhall: All Rights Reserved