Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.Ephesians 5:2 (NLT)
Have you ever been stuck in a room with someone who had really bad body odor? It’s pretty gross. I had an employee at one point in my life who had it bad. And, as a result, the other employees were in revolt, demanding that I punish this other employee for his stench. So, there sat John (not his real name) in my office. The odor in the room grew stronger by the second. I tried to figure out a nice way to tell John that he was grossing everyone out without hurting his feelings in the process. I decided to be direct (as I’m prone to do). I said, “John, the other employees are complaining about your body odor. What can I do to help you with that?” It sounded like a pretty good opening statement. Except, John’s reply was not what I expected. He said, “Well, what you can do about it is to tell those other employees to shut up and mind their own business.” He didn’t want to address his own issues. John lost his job that day.
I often wonder how our lives smell to God. I’m not talking about our real body odor after exercise. Instead, I’m wondering: Do the things we do in this life, the actions we take, the words we speak, the thoughts we think, glorify God as an act of worship? As the apostle Paul put it, “Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.”
The phrase, “pleasing aroma to God” is a reference to the Old Testament sacrificial system. The sacrifices that were burnt on the alter in the tabernacle for the forgiveness of sins were said to have a pleasing aroma to God. Why was it pleasing? Because it pleased God to forgive sin. It pleased God to see people desiring a closer relationship with Him. It pleased God because it demonstrated the importance He played in people’s lives.
Do you choose to live a life that is a pleasing aroma to God? What does your life smell like? Are you living a life of sacrifice and surrender for God’s kingdom? Do your words lift people up, or does your breath stink? Do your actions help others, or do they smell like b.o?
The wonderful thing is that we have a Savior who can wash us clean when we turn to Him. As one of our amazing worship songs states, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”
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