For those with weak stomachs, you may want to skip this story. On my marathon trip to Cambodia, I started to feel queasy about an hour outside Phnom Penh. I eventually had to make use of the air sickness bag. After some trepidation, I returned to my seat. However, once I strapped in I felt the waves of sickness begin to hit me again and again. My stomach was devoid of any substance yet my body still felt there was something left to purge. I held the air sickness bag to my face as a precaution.
The smell began to overwhelm me and make me gag even more. I couldn’t bring myself to pull the bag away for too long, afraid of what might happen. So I found myself caught in a vicious cycle, inhaling pungent, horrid odors and gagging and heaving more and more as the minutes passed.
After we landed, I was delirious. I had no fluids in my system and I looked like death warmed over. After about three hours of sleep however, I was right as rain.
I use this illustration to describe in a very graphic way the idea Paul put forth in one of his letters.
“For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.”
Do people catch a faint whiff of Christ or does he so ooze from my pores that I produce a spiritual gag reflex in their life? Sadly many of us produce no reaction either way. There is no middle ground in Paul’s words. We are the aroma of Christ and the power of Christ will force a reaction in a person’s life. They will either draw closer to God or harden their heart to God.