Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.
Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. Don’t participate in the things these people do.
Ephesians 5: 2-7 (NLT)
During a trip to Hawaii a number of years ago, one of our stops was on the small Island of Lanai where Lynda and I stayed at the Lodge at Koele on the top of the island. Behind the Lodge just within walking distance from our bedroom was a greenhouse with hundreds of varieties of orchids. Walking into the greenhouse, the fragrance was overwhelming—but absolutely beautiful, as were the many flowers of every shape and color.
When you walked out of the greenhouse, with fragrance of the flowers clinging to your clothing—everyone knew where you had been. The aroma followed you wherever you went.
It’s the same with us, in our relationship with Christ. The depth and commitment of our growth in Christ gives off an “aroma” to those around us. When we follow His example to others, we should be able to be easily distinguished from someone following their own ways and not aligned with Christ.
It’s true everywhere we find ourselves, even in sports—or maybe especially in sports since it’s such a high profile world. Some entrusted with the lives of others will motivate players and coaches through fear with tactics like cursing, yelling, belittling and criticism which over time will diminish those at which that type of behavior is directed; while others will correct, inspire and build up those whose lives have been entrusted to them, helping them aspire to be all they can be—for the long term.
In the last verse above, the Apostle Paul says don’t be fooled by people who try to make excuses for their sin. Peer pressure and inappropriate associations will try to wipe off some of that aroma and that example of Christ—for short-term insignificant gains and wins. We may be tempted to feel like we have to curse, yell, or even cheat to win, succeed or get ahead.
But such short-term gains and successes ultimately result in a lack of respect and a long-term loss of potential impact. When the battles get tougher and people are looking for an example and an aroma they can be like, they will look to someone whom they can trust to lead them, lift them and encourage them.
We are called to be a better example of Christ to others—to our children, grandchildren and Godchildren, our spouse, our players, coaches, as well as friends, neighbors, business associates, and all those others all around you. And in the process and by our example to help them to grow to be that example of Christ in the world.
I don’t know what you think, but maybe we all need to return to the “greenhouse” regularly, especially when we feel a moment of weakness overtaking us.
Instead of allowing that to happen, return to the greenhouse to catch a renewed sense of the aroma of Christ which others should sense coming from us.
The aroma of Christ which we want others to see, hear and sense in us.
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2015. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.