If you have ever noticed, every person and every house has its unique smell, whether there is a woman that wears the same perfume [bottle] each and every Sunday, the unique smell of your grandmother’s house, the odor of cigarettes that lingers even if in a car even if no one is smoking, or even the cultural scents, like curry. Furthermore, when you think of crime shows, my favorite being “Law & Order: SVU,” whenever questioning a victim, they would always ask if they remember a specific smell related to their attacker. Smells are memories, and some of my fondest and most unfavorable memories in life can be triggered by a scent. Thus, our fragrance reveals our story, it’s a part of who we are. The even more interesting part is that our smell will not always be desired by everyone, and truth be told, sometimes we really can’t help it, let alone recognize the smell we have. It goes further than hygiene, it’s rather a culmination of everything that makes us who were are; what we like, where we live, where we come from, and who we associate with. For instance, a woman may suspect her husband of cheating if he comes home with a scent of a perfume that she does not own, or you may know that something is not right in the house if you smell gas or something burning, or the best part of your week may be coming home after church and smelling the pot roast or the chicken that has been cooking for the last two hours, or your mother being able to tell you weren’t in good company because you walked in the house smelling like alcohol and weed, or the delight of acknowledging that you are a new parent by the baby smell as soon as you open your door, or the kente oil and all the other incense that lingers from your afro-centric neighbor, or the smell of being outside or working out that leads you to wash up before eating, or the smell of coffee that tells you to get up in the morning. Our smells define us, they move us, they can cause a reaction, and sometimes they can change. So I have to ask, what do you smell like?
Scripture many times talks about the aroma that we send to God in our everyday worship to Him, but I particularly like the one found in 2 Corinthians when it says,
14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and 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.
Talking about being you for a purpose, the idea is that in becoming the person God has for us to be, we generate a smell that is unique and distinctive to who we are, but it doesn’t stop there. The aroma that is created as we live each day more and more as the person God has called us to be, we more and more begin to smell like Christ, and that is the sweetest smell to God. Still, even before that, we should have a fragrance so strong that people can know him because of the whiff of our lives.
I’ve heard many times before, but whenever someone is not acting pleasurable, someone may say, “your stuff stinks.” Now does that mean that they haven’t bathed in a few days? No, rather it implies that the aroma they are giving off by their attitude and actions is turning people away. In the same way, being you for a purpose means that as much as you are able, smell as though God is continually making a difference in your life, like Oswald Chambers put it, as if Christ has risen in you. God wants to smell His Son on you. It honestly makes me wonder what Jesus really smelled like.
Everything about you, all that makes you you, and all that makes me me, the good, the bad, the indifferent, has formulated a smell whether we recognize it or not. And may I say, don’t be ashamed of that smell, even if someone else doesn’t like it or it sticks out, because your aroma will attract who God meant for it to attract, but if part of that smell is not a godly aroma, spray some Holy Spirit perfume or cologne (too much??), you get the idea. The point is not to put on any one else’s body spray, but to cover yourself in the scent of all that God has intended for you so that others can sense Christ and God can smell His Son on you. Be you for a purpose so that when people sniff you they always remember Christ.