A Sweet Aroma (Philippians 4:18)

Advertisers spend millions of dollars a year promoting the latest perfume or cologne. The science of perfume making is quite intricate and researchers are always looking for the next great scent. The goal, of course, is to make one attractive to the opposite sex. Fair or not, how others perceive us is very important how they will interact with us. Attractiveness encompasses all aspects of a person, from the way they smell, their attire, and their personal hygiene. To a certain extent, we are able to control these latter attributes. We may pursue cleanliness, making sure we are presentable with clean clothes. However, it is the internal attributes that are far more difficult to hide or cover-up. What about our attitudes, our demeanor, the way we speak to one another? Even when our intentions are seemingly noble and done with a good heart, our actions may go awry. We can do acts of kindness for our friends and strangers. We may think we are caring for them when perhaps the actions we are doing are interpreted otherwise by the recipient. How can this be? Even if we provide some clothes or food to a family that we perceive to be in need, they may feel insulted and patronized, thinking they are able to provide on their own and don’t need a handout. We may even share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with someone who is a seeker and not a believer but the hearer may feel insulted that you are judging them and not truly interested in being their friend.

Of course, these are exceptions but we must always guard against being overly zealous to do what we perceive is God’s will when in reality we are not applying God’s will in a loving manner and are being insensitive to the recipient's feelings.

Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet- smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.
Philippians 4:18

When you enter and leave a room, is the reaction from others around you one of pleasure and thankfulness that you came or relief that you have left? Are you welcomed like a sweet-smelling aroma or a loathsome and putrid odor?

Take time to reflect upon how you treat others. Are you treating them with the same compassion that God has bestowed upon you or are you taking an attitude that they are not living up to your standards, rather than God’s?

Love and respect the Lord; seek His will in your life.