When was the first time that you walked through a mall and the fragrance of Cinnabon hit you right in the nose? I remember walking through Northlake Mall catching the smells of those unbelievably delicious, buttery, sweet, cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing. Can I get an amen? Did you know that Cinnabon designed a brilliant marketing strategy by designing blowers to waft the smells of cooking cinnamon rolls into the air, thus causing many of us to purchase, consume and regret that we ate more than we should have? That’s right, they actually took the real deal smell of warm, soft cinnamon rolls cooking in the oven and piped that scent into the mall.They were fortunate that their product didn’t need an artificial smell. The real smell was intoxicatingly magical. In the Bible, specifically 2nd Corinthians, chapter 2, verses 14-16, Paul writes; “But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. 15 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. 16 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. And who is adequate for such a task as this?”As our youngest daughter would say, “wait, what?” You read those words correctly. We are to be a Christ-like fragrance. What in the world is Paul getting at? He’s saying that we are to be walking in the footsteps of Christ, as though we were so close to Him that we begin to smell like Him.I remember going to one of my uncle’s homes, on my mom’s side of the family and really not wanting to go. My older sisters had warned me that this uncle had B.O. I didn’t even know what B.O. was at that time, but the way they described it, there was no way that it was good. I timidly walked into his house, and BAM! There it was. He had picked me up, wrestled me to the sofa and then sat me on his knee. OMG! He had a horrific smell! I think I got in serious trouble for asking him why he smelled so poorly. But I’ve chased a squirrel.I’ve been on the Appalachian Trail for six days without a shower. I can smell pretty bad. I played ball as a young guy when my clothes were so potent they could peel wallpaper, but this smell that Paul is talking about is an authentic, real deal aroma from the oven that is preparing us. It’s not some Febreeze cover-up, it is the smell of truth, love, peace, contentment and hope.Occasionally I find myself with someone that smells like Jesus. They aren’t covering up their scent with cologne or perfume. They carry the scent of Christ. The next question we should all ask is, “how do I do that?” Here are three ways to “smell like Jesus.”
- Live with an intentional effort to model your life, love and leadership in the likeness of Jesus. For further explanation, start by reading the Gospel of John.
- Be Real. Be Authentic! Everybody recognizes our weaknesses and heartaches. Folks see past our bravado and recognize that the truest scent is one that is (like Cinnabon) the real deal. God mad no mistake when He made the wonderful you…smell like Him!
- Set your course for consistency. Nothing could be more wrong than expecting the smell of cooking cinnamon rolls and catching the fragrance of five-day-old-eggs in a dumpster covered in rotten milk! The way to smell like Jesus is found in a long run of consistent Christ-likeness.
What do you smell like, today?–AChuck