2 Corinthians 2:12-17

I absolutely adore fragrant candles, air fresheners, and all things that smell yummy. We can enjoy the scents of vanilla, pumpkin, lemon meringue, and cinnamon coffee cake without taking on the calories. We can breathe in a bouquet of roses, lavender, and lily of the valley without a trip to the florist. Even my car has those scented plug-ins over the air vents so that turning on the air conditioner or heat releases some heavenly fragrance. 

I’m not alone in this love for scented air. Market analyses for the aroma industry predicts steady growth as companies continue promoting scents that promise health benefits. 

Writing teachers often encourage students to engage their readers’ sense of smell when they describe scenes or provide details about places and people. Scents have the power to trigger memories for us and create impressions that linger. We enter a kitchen, inhale the promise of freshly baked cookies, and think about the beloved grandparent who taught us to bake. 

Paul must have understood the power of scent, as he uses fragrance and aroma to describe the scent of a life in Christ. After someone has been in our company, will our presence be appealing to them, or will some opposite description come to mind? What lingering memory will they have of us? More importantly, will we remind them of the fragrance of God’s love, the life-giving perfume… to those who are being saved (v. 16, NLT)?


Does your life in Christ leave an appealing aroma? Explain why it does or doesn’t, and how it could.


God, help us follow you closely so that others may sense how near you are to all of us. Amen.

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