“The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup.” Who can forget this classic coffee jingle? Before there was a Starbucks on every corner, there was Folgers. I can still picture the fake smiles of the actors in the ads as they enjoy their first sip of the morning. For many, coffee is the best part of waking up. For some, coffee is the only way to wake up—and stay awake for that matter!
I did not grow up in a coffee-drinking family. I still don’t care for the stuff. But even I can appreciate the smell of a freshly brewed pot. Perhaps you prefer instead the smell of fresh cinnamon rolls or French toast in the morning. Meat-lovers will go for the greasier smells of sausage, bacon or hash browns. No matter your preference, it is a universal fact that a good aroma seems to ease the waking process. There is just something about a sweet-smelling aroma that softens our senses and draws us to its source.
We should not be surprised then when Paul describes the task of evangelism—sounding the alarm of the gospel—in terms of becoming a sweet aroma to awaken the spiritually dead. Consider Paul’s words to the Christians in Corinth:
“God uses us to make the knowledge about Christ spread everywhere like a sweet fragrance. We are like a sweet-smelling incense offered by Christ to God, which spreads among those who are being saved and those who are being lost” (2 Cor 2:14-15).
It is a bit disturbing when we first realize that we all carry with us a particular scent. The body odor Paul refers to can’t be covered by deodorant or expensive cologne. Paul speaks of a particular attitude, mindset or way of life that reeks of the same attitude Christ Jesus had (Phil 2:5). It smells like love and acceptance, healing and grace. It smells of forgiveness and reconciliation, new life and hope.
1. What’s your favorite smell to wake up to? What breakfast gets you to the kitchen table fastest?
2. How does it make you feel that the way you live your life gives off a certain “scent” or “aroma”? Is your life a sweet smelling aroma that attracts others to Christ? Or do you reek of something more foul?
3. Ask God to apply a sweet smelling deodorant or perfume to cover your smelly sins and make you a sweet-smelling aroma that points people to God’s love in Jesus Christ.