Cheese and I go back a long way; I’ve loved it as long as I can remember. So, I’m in heaven here in France because some claim that there are a thousand different types of cheese in the land of Voltaire.
When you’re invited to eat there’s even a separate course of different kinds of cheese to choose from and if you’ve got a crispy baguette to eat with it … whew! The thought shakes me.
I’ve even learned to love the stinky cheeses … Munster, Bleu, etc Once you get past the smell you’ve got them licked.
Recently, though, I’ve noticed that my school-girl figure is going south, so I’ve tried to purchase lower-fat cheese. There’s only one problem: most of them taste like rubber or plastic. You get more taste from chewing on an eraser.
But there is an exception–the low-fat stinky cheese tastes more like the original than the other low-fat cheeses. Maybe the taste is in the smell.
Now, I see you wrinkling your nose as I peer through my computer screen, but just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, taste is in the tongue of the taster, and I suppose that smell is in the nose of the smeller. Or whatever. Pass me my baguette and leave me in peace.
The same confusion exists when people think of Christians—for some being around someone who really loves the Lord is like being downwind from a lady wearing a exquisite perfume. Those who love the Lord, love his people. They smell good.
For others, being around Christians is like being downwind from a skunk.
We’re the odor of Christ in this world. Those who have a heart for God say, “Wow! What a beautiful smell.” Those who don’t want to serve Christ say, « Pewww! That stinks ! »
“In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse.” (2 Cor. 2:14, 15 The Message)
We’ve got an odor. Like my French cheese, whether people perceive it as good or bad, our job is to stay full of the Lord so that the smell wafts all around. Everyone has a responsibility to decide what to do with what he perceives.
If you want to explain Jesus, look at the Cross. His love and the power of His resurrection boldly displayed there define who He is. If you want to understand me, look at the Cross. It was my sin, healed by His love, my weakness, healed by His power and resurrection that define who I have become.