Becoming the Fragrance of Christ


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” (Ephesians 5:2 NIV).

Close your eyes and take a deep breath. What do you smell? Undoubtedly, you smell either your own personal perfume or body lotion, the scented candle sitting nearby, or possibly the fragrant flowers on the counter across the room. The success of retail department stores with aisles filled with the latest perfume and home scents proves that women love to smell good and love to fill their homes with warm, inviting scents. However, these scents are not what God’s Word is referring to in 2 Corinthians 2:14b-15: “and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing” (NKJV). Whether we prefer floral, musk, or earthy fragrances, that which is most pleasing to the Father is the gospel aroma as it is released into the world by our testimonies. It is a sweet-smelling fragrance to the Lord. A woman’s testimony is the fragrance of life to a lost and dying world.

Our personal testimonies are foundational to becoming God’s hands and feet in this world; yet Christian women often fail to embrace the power of transparency, which is a key component to developing a firm foundation of knowing who we are in Christ. The Great Commission tells us that all are called to reach out and to touch the lives of others, ultimately making a difference in this world for Christ’s kingdom. Our personal testimonies empower us with a God-given confidence to help others and impact lives with truth and wisdom. Developing that testimony is dependent upon three relationships—our relationship with God, our relationship with ourselves, and our relationship with others.

Relationship with God: Our relationship with God is the most important relationship in our lives and must be nurtured and cultivated just as any other relationship. We must be intentional with our daily quiet time with the Father, aware that complacency could threaten our spiritual growth. God wants us as Christian women to look for every opportunity to spend time with Him. He is adamant about who, what, and where our dependency lies; so time with the Father teaches us to depend on Him for all things. Our time promotes trust; it diminishes depression and loneliness, cleanses our spiritual hearts, and empowers us with His unfailing love. One cannot deny the fact that the more time we spend with someone, the more we take on their nature, characteristics, and attributes. More time spent with the Father leaves us reflecting His image. Our relationship with God becomes the foundation of knowing who we are.

Relationship with Our Self:  The most difficult relationship for most women is the one with themselves. Life and society have a way of conditioning women to believe that they are to be caretakers to the needs of those closest to them. This results in an unconscious belief that who we are is somehow enmeshed in what we do. The lesson becomes this: if all the doing takes us away from being with the Father, we must re-examine our priorities and adjust our lives to make sure we are seeking Him first! Life’s events also have a negative effect on our relationship with ourselves. With every offense, hurt, or trauma, an emotional wound is carved into our soul. With every new trauma, a new defense is created, and eventually we begin reacting as opposed to responding, and we don’t trust anyone, including God and ourselves. But as we cultivate our relationship with God, we also cultivate our relationship with ourselves. Reading God’s Word and engraving it into our spirit promotes emotional healing. As God heals, liberty and freedom replace the bondage from the emotional hurts. God’s promise to love unconditionally and completely becomes enough—enough to rebuild the bridge between our physical body and our emotional soul, giving ourselves permission “to feel” once again. God’s love is enough to teach us that self-love is healthy. It translates into caring for our temple, which He inhabits.

Relationship with Others: When desiring to help the people around us, a relationship with others would naturally be where we would focus first. However, prioritizing our relationship with God teaches us the depth and width of His love for us, which affects how we view ourselves. At this point, reaching out to help others is not about us; it is about others! Using our personal testimonies to empathize with others becomes the aroma or fragrance of Christ,” spoken of in 2 Corinthians 2:14-15. As women of God, we can now share with others God’s promises of unconditional love, forgiveness, healing, and change—because those promises are now a revelation in our lives. Our outstretched hand to the women in the world reflects the “fragrant offering and sacrifice to God,” representing Christ’s love for us in Ephesians 5:2.

When we are empowered with the knowledge that helping others is not what we want to do but instead what we are called to do, our work becomes our purpose—a true fulfillment of God’s destiny for our lives. So let’s become the fragrance of Christ, and the world around us will begin to smell that much sweeter!

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