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About the Writer:
Heather Cox - Writer

Heather Cox is a freelance mom who also doubles as a writer. She married a country boy and lives in a country home with her three country kids. Her family lives in Wisconsin. Heather's passion is to teach the Word of God in a spirit of love with her life and her words.



Whet Their Appetite: The Scent of a Christian Woman

By Heather Cox

The smell of onions was almost overpowering. Was it coming from the Mexican restaurant? Or could it be the Burger King across the street? My nose was leading me to a fulfilling, well-prepared, flavorful meal. The source of the smell was deceptive though it came from an onion packing plant. Nevertheless, that scent drove me to eat hamburgers smothered in sautéed onions.

Frying onions and garlic begin many a meal at our house. With little effort, I can fill my house with a pleasant aroma. When my husband walks in the door, he can hardly wait to discover the source of that marvelous smell. Scent is the prelude to taste. For example, a roast cooking in the crock-pot makes me hungry all day long. An apple pie in the oven gives my home a cozy smell and makes my mouth water. The scent of a meal is a tease it entices me to sit down to eat. My nose leads my stomach to the table.

Paul spoke about our aroma as believers. Through believers, God spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him (2 Corinthians 2:14-16). We are called the aroma of Christ.

Paul used the imagery of a victory parade. When World War II was won by the Allied troops, parades spontaneously occurred in each town that was liberated from Nazi occupation. The townspeople enthusiastically threw flowers to the soldiers, gave them small tokens of appreciation and even hugged and kissed their liberators as tanks rolled through town. The fragrance of freedom was in the air.

To those who embrace spiritual freedom, our lives emanate a pleasant fragrance. Jesus resurrection smelled of sweet victory over the grave. For the defeated one, however, believers stink of death. The stench is death to self, death to worldliness, death to the power of sin. To the one it is an unpleasant smell (as some might perceive onions!), while to the dying and the lost it is the smell of new life.

I love the spring because of the fresh smell in the air. Blooming flowers provide soothing fragrances; fresh cut grass fills the air with sweetness; and spring rains leave a pure scent. As my garden grows, I notice the distinct smells of each fresh vegetable and fruit. The scent of spring tells me everything is new. It is the fragrance of new life. The death of winter (the death to self) culminates in the fresh start of spring. If I have chosen to leave my old life behind and follow Christ, I have been given a new life. This new life should smell as sweet as the fresh apple blossoms and lilacs in my yard.

The sense of smell actually precedes and cooperates with taste. Our taste buds only catch four variations - bitter, sweet, salty, or sour. The specific distinct flavors are perceived by the olfactory glands in the nose. This explains the lack of taste when the nose is congested. Without a pleasant aroma, we would not be so eager to eat delicacies.

What does it mean for us to be the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ? Jesus called himself the bread of life and the living water. As Christ’s ambassadors, we are eager to lead hungry and thirsty people to the only One who can satisfy. We show them morsels of truth and sometimes even try to force feed the gospel to our friends and family. Unfortunately, this does not usually stimulate people to seek more nourishment in Christ. What will make Christ appealing to them? Instead of telling them about the banquet table available, why don’t we let them follow their noses? If we provide life examples of holy satisfaction and die regularly to self, Christ’s lovely fragrance will alert those around us to their inner hunger. Their noses will lead them to Him.

Our responsibility is not to prepare the perfectly balanced spiritual meal so that we can ensure the spiritual health of our guests. Rather, Christ calls us to whet their appetites. He’ll bring the food. He will feed them exactly what they need when they need it.

I recently asked a sister in Christ to tell me about her mentors - the people she looked up to as godly role models. Her answer was astute: she admired most the people who asked the right questions, not those who thought they had the answers. I chewed on this thought for many days. So often we think that as Christians we are supposed to have all the answers. Should the goal of spiritual teaching be to fill our stomachs with a systematic breakdown of the truth? Or rather, should spiritual leaders focus on asking individuals the questions that cause inner reflection and deepen thirst? When someone is hurting, should I feed her the perfect verse or should I motivate her to seek the scriptures herself?

A mentor in college, my professor, and my husband have all shown me the way by simply asking me the difficult questions that pierce to my motivations, desires and longings. Could we be an enticing aroma for Christ if we laid down our desire to know it all and instead admitted our own questions? I want the blind of this world to notice the scent of Christ on me. May the Spirit in me and you cause others to pant for the living water. Let’s whet their appetite!





Copyright © May , 2007 – Heather Cox. All rights reserved


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