PRINCIPLE: “When you come to a scent-free zone, use your scents.”
While attending a conference a few weeks ago I chatted with a fellow pastor from Canada. After we chatted awhile he mentioned he was having a little trouble because his sinuses were acting up. As I offered some pastoral responses (in my good old Stephen’s mold) he went on to explain that he was allergic to most perfumes, colognes, etc. He was bemoaning the fact that he was not back home because where he lived in Canada they have ‘scent free zones.’ Even some elevators and busses are scent free. Having never heard of such a thing I was stunned. He explained that Canadian law had stepped up to protect those with his type of allergies. While you and I might think no scents makes no sense, to him – and I’m sure to many others – it was a blessing.
The next day, another pastor who had sat at our table during that conversation chatted with me again. She and I were expressing sympathy for people with such allergies but also amazement that the law could actually go as far as to ban scents. One the one hand the law is protecting some from danger but it is also restricting others in their freedoms. I mean, isn’t there some medication for such allergies? Why penalize us who are healthy? We wondered where such laws might end if all allergies led to prohibitive laws. It’s a difficult balance. As I have thought about those conversations today’s principle came to mind: “When you come to a scent-free zone, use your scents.”
Paul wrote (2 Cor. 2:14-16) “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.” Paul knew that Christians have an odor. Some are allergic to it – it is the aroma of death. Some are drawn to the aroma and to them it is new life. But for Paul there was no difficult balance – he urged us to spread the scent. This is especially true when we are among people, or in places where there is no Christly aroma – a scent free zone. “When you come to a scent-free zone, use your scents.” It’s the only thing that makes sense. Whereas people do not choose their physical allergies, reaction to the scent of Christ is a personal choice. People must smell Jesus so they can have a choice of life or death. They must smell the aroma. So “When you come to a scent-free zone, use your scents.” Each person who picks up your scent will determine whether or not they have an deadly allergy.
Well, it’s brief but that’s my two cents worth. I hope it makes sense. “When you come to a scent-free zone, use your scents.”