One day a few years back I had a very funny conversation with my daughter, Peyton. She was curious...why was the neighbor dog always coming over into our yard and then sniffing Buddy's butt? I giggled and remembered many, many years ago when the exact same question flew out of my precocious and curious mind. I just said, "Well, honey, that is how doggies get to know each other! She quickly replied, "Wow, I'm glad people don't have to do that!"
I got to thinking after our conversation, though. In 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 the Bible tells us that "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 the dreadful smell of
death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life giving
I know we don't literally go around sniffing other people to get an
impression like dogs do, but I really do believe our lives give off a
fragrance that is either pleasant or not so pleasant in the spiritual
realm. It's a strange but Biblical truth. I remember visiting a friend once who wrote me a sweet note afterwards that said, "Leslie, thank you for bringing the fragrance of Jesus into our home." Wow. To this day, that was the greatest compliment I've ever received!
But have you ever tried to make someone like you who just didn't? It's
exhausting, isn't it? I have often been known to be a people pleaser
but no matter how hard I try, I cannot make someone like me. Especially
if they are among those who are "perishing" - those who do not believe
in Christ and honestly think I've gone off the deep end. Apparently,
according to the above Scripture, I'm the "dreadful smell of death and doom"
to them and nothing I could do in my own power would ever change their mind. Only God
can change someone, not me. I'm reminded during those times that man's rejection is always God's protection.
It seems safer and less exhausting to live
to please God, who finds my aroma to be very pleasing and pleasant and
to pray for those who do not accept me for who I am, instead of fighting
with them or trying to be someone I'm not in order to make them like me.
God loves me just the way I am and every day I am so thankful that His love for me is unconditional. It's rather freeing, isn't it?
Truly, I have no idea how this all came about from a conversation about
doggie sniffing habits with my little girl, but I digress. God's got
some sense of humor, doesn't He? :)
What does your life smell like these days?
Galatians 1:10 Obviously, I'm not trying to win the approval of
people. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ's