Because of the recent vote of the Supreme Court gay marriage I searched for God’s voice to speak to me as to what attitude I should have towards those that mock and blaspheme the Holy name of my Lord. The Holy Spirit led me to this passage of Scripture in Corinthians, and it challenged me to meditate on what He desires me to do. Just as a perfume gives off a lovely scent, so too we are to give off a sweet-smelling incense to those around us. He urged me to look and study the process used in perfume making and I discovered that the making of perfume is similar to the Christian walk because the chosen ingredients have to be submitted to a process before they are perfected into a scent that is pleasing. The once beautiful flowers are are macerated, pressed, steamed, and distilled to extract the very essential oils. It is a lengthy process and it takes the skill of a master perfumer to know when it is balanced and ready. As the fire refines the gold, the pressure and grinding that converts the sand into a pearl, and the diamond from coal, so too we must go through many processes before becoming a delicate fragrant perfume that Jesus can offer unto the Father.
We have been chosen to be the sweet fragrance of Christ unto God and when the storms of life rage, problems arise, or contrary winds begin to blow, we begin to feel the burning from the pressures of these testings and trials. So the question that the Lord posed to me was, “What odor do those around you perceive as you pass through this trial? Do they receive a sweet pleasant odor of faith, love, patience, kindness, joy, peace, humility, meekness? Or do they smell the stench of offense, bitterness, anger, resentment, complaining? All to often we forget the importance of our every reaction in these trying times. The Lord showed me once that when we get to heaven and stand before the Holy throne of the Father to give an account of our lives He is not going to look at what people did to us, but rather, how we reacted to what they did to us! I see these times as opportunities for transformation into becoming more like Jesus, a sweet smelling incense of sacrifice. Opportunities for more of Him and less of me, knowing I must die that He might live in me. I want to encourage each of you to consider what others perceive in you. When I ponder on what is happening in our country, I must remember that I am called to be a sweet fragrance even to those that choose another perfume. We are not called to judge, but to love our neighbor as ourselves. Quite frankly I have been very challenged to spread a pleasing aroma about this heart breaking decision in this nation. My flesh just wants to shout, but as I stand on God’s truth, I also now understand that I must do so humbly and loving these poor lost souls into the Kingdom.
I have been studying the book of Ruth and as I considered her life, I realized that no matter the situation, her heart poured out kindness, love, peace, humbleness. She cared more for her mother-in-law than for her own needs. She was a gentile, not deserving the favor that Boaz bestowed on her. As she was there picking up the leftovers, He smelled the sweet perfume of a heart full of love. Even if the gay community wants to perceive a stench from the Church today, I pray that God would challenge you as he has challenged me. In union with Christ we are called to love with the same unconditional love that He has loved us. For there is no greater love, than one who gives his life for a friend. This can only occur when we trust Him through the process of perfecting our hearts, and through Christ in us the hope of Glory.