Smells Permeate

Memories are connected to smells, both the good ones and bad ones.

  • The smell of salt water near the ocean,
  • The smell of a cool breeze after a hot summer day,
  • The smell of an attic or basement,
  • The smell of rain,
  • The smell of pine at Christmas.

Or, you open the door and take one step into the house, and you can smell the delicious scent of brownies baking in the oven.  The delicious aroma fills the whole house.

Or, it’s Thanksgiving, and you can pick out more than one mouth-watering scent floating through the air, apple pie, turkey, or whatever else may be cooking.

Mmm! It makes me smile just thinking about it.  🙂

Smells permeate.  They fill the whole house!

Remember the story of the woman who anointed the feet of Jesus?  The scent of the perfume filled that house as well.  (John 12:3)

Smells permeate.  They have a way of filling a large area.  Some perfumes you want to pause and enjoy, and other odors you want to expel or escape from.

Like when you’re driving down the road and you smell a skunk.  It seems like it takes an inordinate amount of time to get away from it, but get away you must, and the quicker the better!

Or the time I went to help a friend move and forgot to turn off the rice that was cooking on the stove; woe is me!  It was on for a few hours before I got back. Eww! We opened windows, turned on fans, washed clothing and curtains that were hanging in exposed areas, washed cabinet doors, and still it took weeks before the smell was totally gone!

2 Corinthians 2:14-16b states:

14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 16 to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life.

Sometimes I strike up conversations with total strangers, and watch their reactions when I mention God or the Bible.  Some of them have been very receptive and glad to talk about that subject.  Others have had reactions that range from polite refusal to curt changing of the subject to outright anger at God.

But I have to ask myself, “Is the smell they are reacting to God’s holiness, which they reject, or is it, rather, my attitude or the attitude of someone else they have known, which is/was not humble or loving like the attitude of Christ Jesus?  (Philippians 2:3-11)

What do others smell in my attitude or yours?  Where are our smells permeating?  Is our smell bringing pain or peace to those affected by it?  Does the aroma we put off  bring back good memories or bad ones to those around us?  Or does it give them a curiosity to know more because they have never encountered such a wonderful fragrance before?  Does it penetrate the hearts of others and prepare the ground for the seed of the gospel to be planted?

If we’ve got to smell like something, let’s put on the fragrance of Christ.

Let’s bathe in the water of God’s Word and wash away the odor of a stinky attitude so that others may discover the wonder of knowing Jesus!

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10 thoughts on “Smells Permeate

    1. So true, Kelly. And keeping those attitudes godly is the hardest at home in front of those little watching eyes and little listening ears. But we must press on in our journey to be made into the image of Christ. So much is hanging in the balance if we don’t. God bless you, sister.


  1. Beautifully written and yet so thought provoking Ruth! I want my aroma to permeate the love of Christ so that people will desire to be around me. I ask God to help me guard my thought and attitude so that they are a reflection of Him. Thank you for sharing these words of wisdom. So nice to “meet” you today. I hope you have a fantastic weekend and blessings to you and yours!


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