Passing the “Smell Test”

During my business career, one of my favorite bosses challenged each of us to have our senses open during the deal making process to not only know what was being said but what was not being said.  Is the deal “too” good?  Are the folks desiring to partner with us or wanting to work for us a bit “too” slick?  Our senses were to be alert and watchful ensuring the deal and the people offering it are “genuine, factual, honest, full of character, down-to-earth,” and we were not being “oversold” or” being deceived”.  “Passing the ‘smell test’” became important to the way we did business.

As believers in Jesus Christ, we need to “pass the ‘smell test’”.  What aroma emanates from the character of our life and lifestyle?  Is our fragrance Christlike?

2 Corinthians 2:14-16 states it this way, “14 But thanks be to God, (as His servants He) uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.”  Many so-called Christians are “peddlers” of Jesus for their own gain.  They fail the “smell test”.  True Christians are the “aroma” of His essence “that brings life” to others.

Ephesians 5:1-2 says for us to “follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”  The “therefore” in verse 1 connects us back to the previous verses in Ephesians 4:20-32 which reveal how we are to “walk” in the fragrant producing “way of love.” 

  • “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (v.29).­ ___
  • “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (v.31). ___
  • “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (v.32). ___

Furthermore, Ephesians 5 details the “way of love” producing the aroma of Jesus:

  • “There must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people” (v.3). ___
  • “Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving” (v.4). ___
  • No “immoral, impure or greedy” person nor one who spouts out “empty words” emanates the fragrance of Jesus” (vv.5-6). ___

The world desperately needs to “breathe” the aroma and fragrance of Jesus.  Do you pass the “smell test”? Put an (*) above the ___’s that you need to work on and become the fragrance of Jesus.  Don’t try to change in your own strength but in His.

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