Posted by: bellissimanh | April 17, 2011

Mama… you smell GOOD!

The other morning I was late for work. I generally leave before Noah goes out for the bus, but this particular day we were heading out the door at the same time. I leaned down and wrapped my sweet boy in a big bear hug, whispering “I love you!” I had been rushing around… grabbing keys, purse, lunch, and jacket… and in my haste, all I could think about was getting out the door and on the road.

And then my sweet baby stopped me up short. Instead of the customary “I love you, too” that I usually get from him he instead said, “Mama… you smell GOOD! He followed it with “I love you, too”, for which I was very glad — but it was his first comment that kept coming back to mind through the day.

I have a favorite perfume. It’s called “Pi”, by Givenchy. It’s actually is men’s cologne, although no one’s ever known that unless I tell them. It’s a very distinct scent — one I absolutely LOVE, and my friends and family have come to identify me by that sweet smelling fragrance.

Since the other day, Noah’s comment has come back to me over and over, in light of this passage:

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, 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 those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.” ~2 Corinthians 2:14-17

Figuratively speaking, there is a pleasant fragrance, spiritually perceived, about true Christians. Alfred Plummer writes that using the metaphor of fragrance “suggests the penetrating strength of the revelation and the delight which it brings to those who receive it.” There should be something sweet about us… something that makes Christ irresistibly attractive to the world around us.

Here’s where it gets rough. How often in the last week have I complained about something (or worse yet, someone)? How often have I grumbled against my circumstances, rather than finding a way to be joyous in spite of them? How many times have I lost my temper, rather than being patient and loving with my family? Have I looked for the good in others, seeking to see them as the Father does, rather than through the lens of my humanity? Which word describes me better… gracious, or judgmental? Humble, or prideful? Since I’m asking the questions, I bet you can guess the answers. It wasn’t pretty. Or sweet.

Focusing on these things could leave one feeling overwhelmed and inadequate for the task of spreading the sweet fragrance of Christ in my little corner of the world. BUT… there is hope. Paul continues by asking, “who is sufficient for these things?” The answer is “no one”… Not one of us is worthy of this solemn task, and each of us is going to stumble — but God qualifies us for it nonetheless. The gospel of grace bearing its fruit in our lives is a sweet fragrance to God. Of myself? I’m woefully inadequate. Yet when I am willing to repent, turn back to Him and seek His filling again, turning from my selfishness and sin — the sweetness of that contrite spirit begins to emit the fragrance of Christ.

The secret to living a sweet smelling life is abiding in Christ. Today, I’m choosing to position myself in the Vine, so that I will be recognized by the aroma of my Savior, rather than my sin. I want to hear the Lover of my soul say, “Mama… you smell GOOD!”


  1. Hey friend,

    I have never heard of that perfume, but I bet it is nice. I built an entire retreat series around those verses a couple of years ago. I used the word FRAGRANCE and talked about what we should be like as the fragrance of Christ. These are very cool verses.

    have a blessed day.

  2. Hiya, thanks for such an encouraging post. I needed to read that today. Blessings x

  3. These are among my favorite Scripture verses. Thank you for such a beautiful post!

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