“For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” 2 Corinthians 2:15
Tis the season of great smells, sounds, and beauty all around. All five of my senses are awakened during this time of the year. I am intentional about how I spend the gift of time. My desire is to be the fragrance of Christ everywhere I go. Although, this is not easily accomplished because, like anybody, I can get derailed when my plans don’t go smoothly. At the end of the day can I honestly say, “Wherever my feet took me today I strived to leave the fragrance of Christ behind”? And exactly what does that mean?
Today is traditionally what Americans call “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving—the biggest shopping day of the year! I love to shop, and I love to give gifts, but I don’t love crowds, lines, traffic, dragging around children, and stores being sold out of the one thing that I wanted. These aspects of holiday shopping can be joy robbers. But what if my goal this season wasn’t just to gain tangible things? What if my goal was to find ways to BE the fragrance of Christ?
It’s never been my tradition to shop on Black Friday, therefore that was not modeled for my girls. However when one of my daughters married, shopping on Black Friday became one of her favorite events that she does with her mother and sister-in-law. They make their plan the night before, rise early, and set out together. That time with each other helps to knit their hearts as family. She tells such great stories of the memories that they have made in all the shopping madness, but it is not the treasures that she comes home with that have made the lasting impression. It’s the treasured time she spent with her family! Enjoying SIGNIFICANT RELATIONSHIPS will leave the aroma of Christ in its wake!
My husband does NOT enjoy shopping at all, but he does enjoy a good cup of coffee. He’ll sit on a mall bench without complaining and watch people while I shop. If you happen to sit next to him he’ll most likely strike up a conversation, and he’s actually a pretty good listener. He’s drawn to the simple joys of life like coffee and offering a kind word. One of the great miracles of life is that God pays attention to us. God listens to us whole-heartedly. We have his undivided attention, not the casual listening of a preoccupied mind. The kind of attention God lavishes on us is the kind that says, “I have nowhere else I’d rather be than with you.” KINDNESS smells like the fragrance of Christ!
Gift giving is important. It was actually invented by God. “Gifts” happen to be my primary love language. I love to give gifts. I especially love to give a gift that says, “I KNOW you.” I know your favorite color, I know your favorite meal, I know what you like to do, and I know what is important to you. Gifts can say, “I love you” and, “I had you on my mind.” Similarly, a gift of time, a meal, or an act of service would be appreciated by most anybody. A young mother would LOVE a day to herself. A frazzled neighbor could use a meal. A single mom would cherish a good friend. The possibilities are endless! Since my girls are all adults now my favorite gift to give them for their birthday is a day with me. We start out in the morning, have a great lunch somewhere, and depending on the daughter, we either have our nails done, shop, or go to a movie—sometimes all three! My mom enjoys the exact same gift. The gift of LOVE leaves an eternal fragrance of Christ.
The list could go on, but if we truly desire to make a Christ-like impression and leave behind the fragrance of the Holy Spirit, it has to start with our personal relationship with Christ! PUBLIC IMPACT always flows out of PRIVATE WORSHIP.
Have you ever noticed the smell of perfume on your baby when you pick him or her up from the church nursery? They often smell like the one who spent time rocking, feeding, and caring for them. In the same way, intimate time spent with our Savior will inevitably cause us to exude His aroma in our lives.
However, time with the Lord can become unfocused when the pace of life gets busier. I want to encourage you not to let this holiday season’s pressures (or the pressures of life and motherhood in general!) replace priority.
I exhort you, young mommies! God is using you to shape the lives of HIS children and no one can do it better than you! What kind of aroma are you displaying for your families? When you leave your children with others, or when they walk out of your door to go to school, church, or anywhere, do they smell like the aroma of your home? What does your home “smell” like? Let’s choose to leave behind the fragrance of Christ this Christmas and each day after!