A Sweet Aroma

Jack Roeda

READ : 2 Corinthians 2:12-17

For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and . . . those . . . perishing. (v. 15)

Paul gives thanks to God for using us to spread “in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing [Christ].” This knowledge is like a sweet-smelling perfume that we are to apply generously to all our living. Of course, not everyone responds alike to this fragrance.

As a boy crossing the Atlantic Ocean, I became seasick.

If I went below deck to the dining room, the moment the aroma of the food reached me, my stomach would heave, and I’d run back up the stairs for fresh air. The very same aroma that drew some below deck sent me running up the stairs. Similarly, the same gospel aroma arouses different responses in people.

True, sometimes people are repulsed by the gospel because Christians leave a bad odor by the way they live. However, if people are turned off to the gospel because it calls them to die to pride and to place their hope in Christ, then they stand condemned.

We cannot force people to take in the aroma of Christ, and it’s not our task. Our responsibility is to emit the fragrance of Christ in all our living.


Dear Christ, may our union with you transform us into a sweet fragrance for God and neighbor alike. Amen.