I have been doing some thinking lately about what a person leaves behind. I am not talking about the things they leave to their families after they die. I am talking about what lingers behind them when they walk out of the room or end a conversation. We all leave a lasting impression on those we come in contact with. It's much like a woman's perfume. Have you ever hugged someone and when they walk away their fragrance lingers long after they are gone? So it is with our words and our actions, they linger long after we are gone.
2 Corinthians 2:14-15 says it this way, " 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. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing." Did you catch the part of the verse that says that God "manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place." ? This is the fragrance that should be lingering long after we leave a room or end a conversation. It is the fragrance of Christ.
Our contact with others leaves one of two impressions. We either leave the fragrance of Christ that lingers and causes those left wrapped in its scent to want more of Him, or we leave a stench. When we spend time loving others with our words and our actions and encouraging them we leave the fragrance of Christ. When we spend time criticizing, gossiping, complaining, nagging, or trying to fix them ourselves we leave a stench behind.
The world is full of awful smells. We don't need be part of the stench. We can choose to be the fragrance of Christ. When we seek to be an encouragement to others and to love them well we are His sweet perfume. His scent will linger and they will want to spend time with us because we will remind them of Him. Do your words and your actions leave a fragrance or a stench? When people have spent time with you do they walk away feeling like they have spent time with Him?
Will you join me this week in being mindful of what fragrance I am leaving to linger?