I really like a particular section in today’s reading. “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.” (2:15-16)
To me these verses speak loudly. But before I discuss them in a bit more detail, let me give you some background. In a Roman triumphal procession, the victorious Roman general would display his treasures and captives amidst a cloud of incense burned for the gods. To the victors, the aroma was sweet (i.e., “the fragrance of life”). To the captives in the parade it was the smell of slavery and death (i.e., “the smell of death”).
If you have ever taught, preached, or shared the Good News with another person, these verses may speak to you too. To me they say that when we share the Gospel with others, the message we are giving is good news to some and very bad news to others. Some recognize the life giving “fragrance” of the message we are delivering; others think the message smells like “death”. For non-believers it can be their own death.
So the next time you teach or preach remember that you may not please everyone – nor are you suppose to. Rely on the Holy Spirit to give you the ability to speak God’s word. To some that will be great news – to some it will cause discomfort. When one thinks about it, that may help save a life.
Wishing you the best in your walk with Christ,