Posts Tagged ‘positive influence of others’


“Mom, what’s that lovely perfume you’re wearing?” I exclaimed while greeting my mother-in-law with a hug.

“It’s called White Linen,” she responded. “I like it because it’s crisp and clean and not too heavy.”

The scent stayed with me, but I didn’t mind. Not only did the perfume have a pleasing aroma, but it belonged to one of the sweetest, most generous women I’ve ever known.

The apostle Paul taught that we should leave a pleasant scent wherever we go. But he wasn’t talking about perfume or cologne. He meant that our very lives ought to emit the fragrance of Christ:

“Through us, [God] brings knowledge of Christ.

Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance.

Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God,

which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—

an aroma redolent with life.”

(2 Corinthians 2:14-15, The Message)

 I’ve been privileged to enjoy the exquisite fragrance of a number of saints over the years:

  • My grandmother, who loved and served Jesus with a passion. She demonstrated kindness and thoughtfulness, and never raised her voice. (At least not that I heard!)
  • My parents, who lovingly guided me, and demonstrated what a Christian marriage should be:  two people committed to the best interest of the other.
  • A youth pastor who showed personal interest in each kid, and whose prayers were so heartfelt, we knew this guy was up-close-and-personal with God.
  • A professor and his wife at the seminary Steve attended, who took us under their wings and lovingly mentored us with great wisdom.
  • A mother of three who led the first women’s Bible study I attended.  She provided strong teaching, but better yet, an example of what it means to be a godly woman of excellence.
  • An older couple who listened, supported, and encouraged us as Steve began his pastoral career.
  • A younger couple who came alongside us in ministry over thirty years ago and are still caring friends to this day.
  • A choir director who taught by example what a calm and gentle spirit (2 Peter 3:4) looks like.
  • Countless friends and acquaintances over the years who have loved on us and prayed for us.

Some of these wonderful people have already departed for heaven. Yet their beautiful fragrance lingers in my life to this day—a memorable blend of selflessness, generosity, and grace.

And I wonder, Where would I be without their enduring examples providing strength and guidance?

To be honest, I would surely have ruined my life with poor choices, spurred by emotional immaturity, and spiritual depravity. But God provided all these saints and more, that I might acquire even a faint aroma of Christ. 

And now I plead with myself, YOU serve Jesus by being a sweet fragrance for others, redolent with the life of Christ. YOU be the listener, encourager, and grace-giver. YOU provide the example of Christian maturity. 

*     *     *     *     *   *     *    *     *     *

Oh, Father, I thank you for the countless people you have brought into my life, whose positive impact provided wisdom, direction, and inspiration. Guide me, I pray, to live just as fragrantly, spreading your love, grace, and joy wherever I go.

Whose exquisite aroma lingers in your life?  Tell us about him/her in the comments below.

(Photo credit:  www.etsy.com.)

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