Friday, July 8, 2011
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My daughter and I hugged a lot when she was little. And when she was a big college student, and even now that she has a family of her own, I'm happy to report we still have what we call "hug alerts." We have always had a demonstrative relationship; have with all the kids actually.
Now, sometimes when I've hugged her, she would suddenly say, "You smell like Daddy." Well, I hope so. I don't want to smell like anybody else. I've never figured out whether that's good or bad that I smell like me, but I do smell like me. And she hugs a couple of other men in her life, too; her husband, her father-in-law, a couple of brothers that she hugs; even three children. And she tells me that they smell like themselves too. I guess the fact is that people do have a distinctive aroma. It could be pleasant or unpleasant, and we do remember the smell they leave behind.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Your Aroma is There Longer Than You Are."
Well, our word for today from the Word of God comes from 2 Corinthians 2:14 - sort of a perfume verse. "But thanks be to God who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ." Now, I don't know what you're going through right now, but that's got to be a great verse for whatever it is. "Always leads us in triumphant procession in Christ." And He says, "And through us spreads everywhere the fragrance (there we go) of the knowledge of Him."
I'm pretty sure you know someone who is sort of preceded by the aroma of their cologne or their perfume. You kind of know they're coming before you see them; you smell them. And even after they're gone, the aroma lingers.
The impact of your life here is described as a fragrance. The knowledge of Christ is what you're supposed to leave behind. That means that people are thinking about Jesus after you pass by. You create a Jesus atmosphere around you. Now, modern Christianity measures our influence by our actions - the words we speak, the groups we lead, the good deeds we do, the people we helped, the activities we support. But our greatest influence doesn't come through the actions you do. Your greatest influence comes through the atmosphere you create.
And everywhere you are you're creating some kind of atmosphere; some kind of aroma. What kind? When you walk into your home, do you bring stress with you, or gentleness, affection? You bring coldness or warmth? You bring an atmosphere.
What kind of atmosphere accompanies you at work; at school? I guess after all is said and done, people won't remember much that you said or even a lot of what you did. But they'll remember the atmosphere. They'll remember how they felt when you were around.
Maybe your actions - your good actions - are canceled out by the atmosphere of stress, or criticism, or negativity, or insensitivity that you create while you're doing all of those good things. But it's the atmosphere that really makes the difference.
Your aroma? Yeah, it's there longer than you are, and the aroma that you should be leaving is the finest of fragrances. You should leave behind you a trail of joy, and peace, and blessing, making people feel important and listened to, cared about. Actually, what you should leave behind is the essence of Jesus.