The sweetest thing happened yesterday.
Our worship service had just begun, and the congregation was standing, singing hymns, and preparing our hearts for worship. As he usually does, my sweet little boy Michael who is ten years old, was standing beside me with his arms wrapped around my waist.
After a few moments, I noticed that he kept sniffing me. I finally asked why he was sniffing me, and he whispered, “because you smell like fruit! It smells really good!” I smiled at his answer, and knew that what he was smelling was one of my favorite perfumes which I spritzed on before leaving the house, which had a very clean, but sweet, aroma.
I thought about his reply for a moment, then a smile came to my face. I guess smelling like fruit is not so bad, considering all the other options! But then God reminded me that He would like for me to smell like fruit too – fruits of the spirit, that is. I was reminded that His Word tells me that my life should be a pleasing aroma to Him, through my thoughts, actions and behaviors.
Ephesians 5:2 says “and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
This is a commonly used verse, but what does it really mean? How can we learn to offer a fragrance that is pleasing to God, and those around us?
One primary way to exude a sweet fragrance, is to show love. There are lots of ways we can show love to others, from a simple smile, to random acts of kindness, to sacrificial giving and serving for Christ. But regardless of how we do it, all that matters is that we are permeating the earthly and heavenly air with a sweet fragrance.
There is an Old Hawaiian proverb that says, “Tiny is the flower, yet it scents the grasses around it.” It is an example of how small things can have large effects.
In Hawaii, people often refer to the “aloha spirit”. The “aloha spirit” simply means LOVE, and that love includes friendship, acceptance, compassion, mercy, gratitude, assistance and cooperation.
A person is said to have shown the “aloha spirit” when they greet you warmly… smile…help a friend…forgive… do a favor…say thanks for a favor…etc.
Its obvious that the ideas and actions behind aloha are not exclusive to Hawaii, and that is the point here today. The spirit of aloha, closely resembles the spirit of a Christian fragrance.
Lets think about that tiny little flower that permeates the air with its fragrance. The fact that it is small, and seemingly insignificant, does not keep it from sharing the fragrance that it was created to share.
Sometimes we think we are not capable of doing anything big or important for Christ. We allow our size, or opinions of unworthiness, to keep us from being the person God created us to be. But the only thing that matters is how we are affecting the world around us – how we are filling the air with a spiritual aroma that not only smells sweet to those around us, but also to God. It is not the actions that matter, it is the aroma that is created by those actions.
Each time we do something in the name of love, we are sowing seeds for the growth of others to experience love and give love. We are helping others learn how to be a little fragrant flower in a big world that is overall, pretty stinky.
Each one of us has a unique fragrance that we share with the people around us. Today might be a good day to ask – is my fragrance a sweet smelling aroma, or a sour, stinky one instead? Is my fragrance permeating Gods love into the hearts of others?
Do you ever remember a time when a woman entered a room and had obviously gone a little overboard on the perfume, leaving a strong, lingering fragrance in the room even after she left? If it was a pleasing smell, you didnt mind it much – but if her perfume was not pleasing to the nose, and was too overpowering, then you probably didnt like it. The same concept applies here with our spiritual fragrance.
Maybe we should always ask ourselves, hypothetically: when we leave a room – is our lingering fragrance one of love and kindness, or anger and harshness? Is our lingering fragrance one of patience and compassion, or one of intolerance and selfishness? Is our lingering fragrance lifting peoples spirits, or leaving them discouraged and broken?
Most people think flowers just happen to smell good, but they only smell good because that is the way God made them. When God created flowers, he intentionally created them to be fragrant. And He created us just the same.
If one tiny flower can scent the grasses around it, then the scent of millions of tiny flowers can scent an infinite space. If one person can scent the air for Christ around them, then many people working for Christ can have an infinite impact. Every little flower, a.k.a person, makes a difference – a fragrant difference – if we are intentional about exuding an aroma that is spiritually pleasing.
So, what fragrance are you wearing today? Is it the sweetest thing?