Paul expresses that the minister, as one bearing the fragrant knowledge of Christ, is also himself an aroma to God (2 Cor. 2:14-15). Yet this scent smells differently to believers and the lost. Continue reading “Sincere Ministry”
Fragrance is contextual. Every perfume is not right for every season or occasion. So the conscientious wearer will build a fragrance wardrobe that might include essentials for casual and work times, formal events, sporting, festive occasions like holidays, and warm and cool seasons. The assortment helps one fit the mood or event.
Now that’s the more common method of fragrance wardrobing. Another technique is to layer the body with the same scent. Thus, a person will use a body scrub and a body lotion in the same fragrance; then finish with a light spray of the perfume or cologne. This ensures that the fragrance lasts the entire day.
A third and less common way is to use different scents at the same time to create a customized fragrance. But since this is an easy way to unintentionally make yourself stinky and talked about, I’ll stick to one scent and leave the mixing to the perfumers!
Something Old, Something New
Wardrobing is a rich illustration of the way God has stocked our lives with talents, experiences, ingenuity, wisdom, and an array of elements, including the power of the Spirit, to match any occasion in which we find ourselves.
Two scripture passages convey the wardrobing concept to me. First, Peter marvelously explains, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life” (2 Pet. 1:3); then, he encourages his readers to continually add godly virtues to their faith. “For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (v. 8).
This verse is so versatile with the concept. In the sense of variety, we can view adding goodness, love, and more as maintaining our witness of Christ despite the circumstance. Tempted? Christ smells of self-control. Persecuted? He’s a strong whiff of perseverance. Or, in the sense of layering, we can perceive those virtues, one upon the other, as keeping the scent of Christ strong on us, the scent Paul calls “the pleasing aroma of Christ” (2 Cor. 2:15).
Lastly, I cannot forget Matthew 13:52: “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”
This verse describes the connoisseur and discriminating one who understands propriety and possesses the depth, creativity, and facility to handle any occasion, masterfully so.
This is also Christ in us keen—“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” (Matt. 10:16); “Use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings” (Luke 16:9); “When you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place’” (Luke 14:10).
I encourage you to do as Peter advises and wisely make your spiritual fragrance wardrobe as varietal as Christ has made it possible for you. He in his many ways is the scent you spread.
More on this topic: The Perceptive Householder