The Fragrance of Christ

Every believer is called to be the fragrance of Christ. “For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” 2 Cor. 2:15 (NKJV) Carrying this fragrance is part of who we are called to be. It becomes a reality as we are filling ourselves with Christ on a regular basis.

In recent years, we have seen a resurgence of interest in essential oils. Probably many of you have a diffuser in your home. (I actually have three!) I love diffusing oils because I can create a certain kind of atmosphere, such as balsam fir at Christmas time. I also diffuse oils as an immune protection during cold and flu season, and to eliminate unpleasant cooking odors as well. I believe that we can find some spiritual application here for us.  

The Holy Spirit desires to use us, figuratively speaking, as His diffuser. Time spent with Him is the place where the filling comes and His presence and His peace are the byproduct. Those who enter our home or encounter us elsewhere will experience the overflow. On the other end of the spectrum, He wants to use us to eliminate an undesirable “fragrance” such as negativity, tension, or stress, in our own hearts first, and secondly as an influence in other’s negative conversations by carrying His presence into that conversation.

A good example of this is when we feel an attitude rising in our heart that we know can only be hurtful or harmful if expressed, or silently carried. Holding on to a bad attitude does much damage. I like the way The New Living Bible translates Hebrews 12:15. “Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.” Instead of giving into our flesh we can choose to embrace His grace and let go.

Although it is contrary to our nature, when we give in to the Holy Spirit’s leading, instead of experiencing a sense of disappointment or loss, we experience joy. It is the joy of having our heart changed and the joy of being used by Him to bring a shift and a change in the atmosphere. It literally feels good to our spirit to “let go and let God.” If we choose not to do this, we will be “corrupting many” – our spouse, our children and everyone with whom we interact.

The Bible says that “a wise woman builds her house.” Prov. 14:1 The Amplified Bible expands the thought: “The wise woman builds her house [on a foundation of godly precepts, and her household thrives], But the foolish one [who lacks spiritual insight] tears it down with her own hands [by ignoring godly principles].” A husband’s role in this process? You are a major contributor to your wife being able to fulfill this calling. I want to exhort you to carry the fragrance of Christ to your wife through understanding and encouragement. “You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.” 1 Pet. 3:7 (NASB)

In his classic work, The Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer describes it as the experiential heart-theology of a grand army of fragrant saints. There’s always more that awaits us in God; grand discoveries of His attributes, character, and emotions. As we interact with His holy Presence we will carry His fragrance wherever we go.