Is That Smell You?
Once I was preaching in the Alsatian region of France. After the service I ate with some people in the church and the conversation turned to cheese.
Now I love French cheese, but I said that there was one which was a bit too strong for me—Munster.
The taste is okay but the smell, especially when it’s overripe, will stop a charging rhinoceros in its tracks.
The following Thursday I was preaching in the same church. When I stood behind the pulpit I noticed a small gift-wrapped package with the notice “Pour David”(for David). I just left it there because I thought there might be another David in the church.
There were a couple of times when I was preaching, though, when I got a whiff of something disagreeable. “What is that?” I thought. “I know I washed my feet before I came.”
It wasn’t my dirty feet though, because my young friends came after the service and told me to open my gift. It was a gift-wrapped Munster cheese, which explained a lot.
Later on the pastor Ringenbach and I put that cheese into the ministry. It’s surprising how good anything tastes with a tasty French baguette to accompany it.
We worry about our smell don’t we? (At this point I invite all you mothers who teach their kids better to skip the rest of this paragraph). Have you ever seen someone sniff his armpit when he thought no one was looking? He wanted to see if his deodorant was still working?
Have you ever sniffed your armpit to see if your deodorant was still working?
(You moms can come back now).
Each one of us has a smell. If you don’t believe it, ask your dog. But we also have a spiritual smell.
What Is That Perfume You’re Wearing?
If you’re always a grouch, you pollute the air of the place where you work. Do your kids light up when you come home or do they hide? Do you spread spiritual “Chanel Number Five” at church or do you stink everything up?
“I’m not stinky. I’m right,” you say. I’ve found that people who are RIGHT!!! cause most of the problems in churches and the world at large. Is that smell coming from you?
“Thanks be to God who leads us, wherever we are, on his own triumphant way and makes our knowledge of him spread throughout the world like a lovely perfume! We Christians have the unmistakable “scent” of Christ, discernible alike to those who are being saved and to those who are heading for death. To the latter it seems like the very smell of doom, to the former it has the fresh fragrance of life itself.” (2 Corinthians 2:16 14-16a PHILLIPS)
Like a beautiful lady who passes and tinges the air with the fragrance of her perfume, people sense God in our lives. When Jesus Christ is in you and that life oozes from you, it encourages those who love the Lord.
To those who don’t love Him that is a horrible smell, because it reminds them of judgment on their obstinacy.
Is that smell you? Me? I hope so.