"Pungent Perfume"

The other day my husband took me out for an impromptu visit to the mall. To many ladies, this might sound like a fabulous date! However, since both of us despise shopping, and we have not been to a mall together in years, I was quite surprised at our destination.

Then I learned we had a specific purpose. Our assignment: find a new cologne.

With our mission in mind, we navigated the corridors of the mall directly to the fragrance shop. OH-MY-GOODNESS!!! How many different scents could there possibly be?!?!

Although we already had a particular name brand in mind to review, I was completely overwhelmed with the plethora of perfumes and colognes available.

Before we knew it, each of us had samples sprayed on our neck and arms. I didn’t even plan on looking for a perfume that day, and somehow the sales clerk at the counter was already trying to convince me that I needed to get not just one--but two bottles of perfume!!

Feeling smothered with thick layers of aromatic air, we needed to exit the tiny store to clear out our nostrils and inhale fresher oxygen.

We sat down on a bench near the food court and started to sniff each other--repeatedly. To an onlooker, we most definitely looked like fools:) We must have smelled each other up and down the left arm, then the right arm, then the neck, then back again to each arm . . . more than a dozen times.

I can imagine we looked like a bad episode of Pepe Le Pew. Wafting, inhaling, waiting to see which fragrance was a winner.  

Unfortunately, neither of us could agree on the perfect scent. Some were iffy to both of us. However the situation that shocked me was how my husband loved one of the perfumes on me, but when I took a whiff--I hated it!

He was interested, and I was disgusted. Same scent--different reactions. Our odor ordeal then reminded me of Scripture . . .

“Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume . . .” (2 Corinthians 2:15-16 NLT)

In the verses above, Paul was describing the different reactions he received while preaching about Jesus. Some people breathed in the Gospel as a sweet fragrance of life. Others, who did not believe, found this news to be a foul stench of death.

Just like our fragrance samples at the mall . . . the SAME SCENT smelled attractive to my husband and nauseating to me. This is how the Good News comes across to people . . . the SAME MESSAGE of Jesus produces diverse reactions.

Have you noticed how people around you respond differently when a conversation about Jesus comes up? Do the words spoken produce a sweet aroma of hope and salvation, or do you see a repulsed look of dread and boredom?

No matter what reaction you may receive, continue to be the sweet perfume that you were designed to be!

“Be full of love for others, following the example of Christ who loved you and gave himself to God as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, for Christ’s love for you was like sweet perfume to him.” (Ephesians 5:2 TLB)


P.S. Stay tuned for a unique blog post next Wednesday! I was chosen as a guest post writer and published with (in)courage. I can’t wait to share this special written piece with YOU:)