However, as delightful as the aroma is for me, I realize that for some it is a reminder of allergy season. Instead of being able to enjoy the sweet smell of spring, their eyes begin to itch, water, and swell. They begin to sneeze, they become congested, and they get headaches. They also look around and wonder, "What is it that is causing this reaction?" Instead of a blessing, they head for the medicine cabinet for some relief.
To some it is the sweet aroma of spring. To others it is a smell of misery and agony.
Paul reminds us that we, the followers of Jesus, have a role similar to that of the plants as we live our lives in this world:
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life (2 Corinthians 2:14-16 NIV).
The power of this passage is obviously in these words:
For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.
The bushes and flowers that bloom in spring are simply doing what they were created to do. Honeysuckle and roses grow and bloom. The aroma is a natural result. To some it is pleasant. To others it is not.
For the follower of Jesus, our task is to do what we have been created to do, "Spread the knowledge of Him." Some will appreciate us. Some will not. Some will enjoy us. Some will despise us. Some will be drawn to us. Some will reject us. Some will want to be near us. Some will run from us. We cannot control the reaction. All we can do is live the life.
There is no need to complain or wish things were different. This is the plan of God. No good will come from moaning and groaning of how we wish people would get to know us and love us for who we really are. Our task is to live the life.
If we choose to follow Christ, we become the aroma of Christ. His fragrance is inevitably splashed upon us. As we live the life some will stop and ask, "Where is that sweet aroma coming from?" Others will stop and ask, "What is that awful smell?" There are no other options.
To God, when we live the life, we are the aroma of Christ. That's what matters.