“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:14-17, NKJV). It is a good thing to smell!

Think about what it is that Paul is saying. As God’s chosen servant (an apostle), he went about proclaiming God’s good news to a people who might have never heard of Jesus. For Paul, this was to his advantage. He had a great opportunity to give those who never heard of Jesus a good first impression in two ways: (1) the life he exhibited and (2) the message he proclaimed. This should give us occasion to think about what it is that we give by way of an impression. It does me.

Let us not think, however, that this is a special application exclusive to preachers; if one so thinks the point is missed. Those who walk the life of Christ will radiate an odor; what odor do others notice with regard to you? Is it the perfume that covers up, or the natural smell of a righteous life?