We were deep in the mountains of northern Georgia, and it was the middle of the night when I heard my brother whisper, “I’ve got to go.”
Books have been written on the difficulty of answering the call of nature while in the woods. With several years of backpacking in the mountains under my belt, I concur. And when the darkness is stifling and unfriendly nocturnal creatures lurk about, it’s even more challenging. But my brother had to go. So he went. But where he went—combined with the wind’s direction, left an unpleasant aroma wafting through our tents.
Not the kind of story I normally relate—or that you might enjoy reading, but the point is pertinent. Sometimes I don’t smell good to God. But I should. And occasionally I try to cover up my repulsive aroma with various perfumes. But I shouldn’t. Rather our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently (II Corinthians 2:15 NLT).
Willful disobedience causes me to stink to God and others. I’ve made quite a few forays into the woods of disobedience, and every time I do my testimony suffers. If following Jesus isn’t making me act, think, and look differently, why should anyone else want what I claim to have?
There have also been periods when my obedience was tainted by ulterior motives. God says this stinks too. Others may applaud me, present me awards or trophies, pay me, or record my name in history books, but God examines my heart.
I’ve decided to smell good for God and others. So the next time I get the urge to do what will produce a foul aroma, I’ll chose instead to dab myself with God’s perfume of obedience and right thinking. How bout you?
Prayer: Father, may the aroma we exude draw others to the love of Jesus Christ.
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