Devotion in Motion: “The Aroma of Life”

15: For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

16: 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?  2 Corinthians 2:15-16

By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”

I was born without a sense of smell. The doctors tell me I was born with a benign lesion on my pituitary gland. The medications I take fix what is wrong with my pituitary, but they don’t repair what’s wrong with my smeller. I am blind in my nose.

I didn’t realize that I don’t have a sense of smell until I was a big kid—probably a teenager. It just dawned on me one day that out of the thousands of times that somebody had run up to me and said, “Do you smell ________ ?” that I had never once said “yes”. So, I went to the doctor, and he confirmed it. The part of my brain that registers fragrances isn’t there. I can’t smell anything.

I wish I had a sense of smell, and I am very interested in the subject. I have always had great friends who could describe the aroma of things for me. You see, to be a good smell-describer you have to be able to explain an odor (which I can’t understand) in terms of something that I can relate to. In college, I had a close friend who had a roommate who had a terrible body odor. I asked my friend what his roommate smelled like. He said, “Well he doesn’t take a shower, and he doesn’t change his clothes. He plays basketball, and throws his clothes under the bed.  He puts them on again the next day and wears them for weeks. He smells like urine!”

I told my friend that his description really didn’t help me. I just didn’t understand. In his exasperation he exclaimed, “John, the boy smells soured. He smells like a cement mixer full of mayonnaise left in the desert for five years!”

Now that’s a good description. I get it.

I asked another college friend of mine what the best aroma in the world was. After careful thought he said, “The best scent in the world is the way a pretty girl smells when you come to pick her up for a date. It’s a mixture bath soap, talcum powder, makeup, perfume, Faultess spray-starch and clean clothes. It’s the most wonderful smell in the world.”

Now that sounds like a wonderful aroma. It makes me jealous of people who can smell.

In today’s Scripture (at the top) the Apostle Paul says that whether we can smell or not, we all have a spiritual aroma. If we are Christians, we walk around giving off the “fragrance of Christ”. To those who believe on Him, the fragrance smells like fine perfume; it is the aroma of “life leading to life”. St. Paul says that to those who do not believe on Jesus, our spiritual fragrance is “aroma of death leading to death,” because they have not trusted in God’s only Son.

So, dear mama, spritz on your spiritual perfume today. Let Christ dwell richly in your heart by faith this week. To those who do not know the Saviour, you may be the fragrance that causes them to look to Him so they can have a life of peace and joy. And to those who are Christians, your sweet fragrance may be just the encouragement that they need. You’ll make the world a sweeter place, for yourself and everyone around you.

Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad” *Sing that  title to the tune of “Secret Agent Man” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and is beginning his third decade of being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 18) and Seth (age 14) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the Preacher’s house is all-electric so no one ever says “Do you smell a gas leak?”). You should write him at