Fragrance in one of those words we don’t think much about when we go about our daily lives. But Christianity often gives off something other than a “fragrance of Christ.” We are offended easily — by our government, by our brothers and sisters, by our co-workers. Most people know what we don’t like and what we are against, but rarely experience the love of Jesus through us. Forgiveness is the fragrance of Christ –it is His main purpose: to forgive all that stands between mankind and God, so that we can be together with Him for eternity.
In the 80’s, two of my closet friends and I had a split. The situation between us became volatile because we were both angry. We were both offended that the other didn’t understand why we did what we did. We were giving off the stench of unforgiveness.
Like a ball and chain wrapped around my ankles, my anger and hurt kept me from joy for several years. I easily cried, obsessed with anger, and felt like a tree stump dead in the forest after a forest fire. I had no hope or life in me. I hated Christians for the hypocrites I thought they were. Until one day, as I prayed and sought my Father for forgiveness for them and for myself, all of the pain and sorrow fell away. Like being washed with clean fresh water, it disappeared and never returned. Today my friendship with those people has been fully restored, and all the offense and hurt is gone!
Let us take a check of our hearts to see if what we give off is fragrance or unforgiveness. It can mask itself as judgment, offense, or opinion. It can sound like whining. It can come out as gossip. The fragrance of Christ is love and forgiveness, clean and pure. It is the love that takes no thought of what people say or do, but only what can be given to help them be refreshed and lifted into the Presence of Jesus. If someone is hurting or in sin, we can woo them with the fragrance of Jesus’ love or push them away with the stench of judgment. May all of us be that smell of fresh-baked bread, the bread of forgiveness!