These few verses are from Paul's second letter to the followers of Jesus who lived in Corinth.
2 Corinthians 2
14b Now (God) uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere,
like a sweet perfume.
15 Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God.
But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing.
16 To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom.
But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume.
This has always been an interesting passage to me. It's something I've tried to keep in the back of my mind.
We spend a lot of time trying to connect with people who do not walk in a faith relationship with God.
And I think that is good & certainly appropriate.
I mean, where would you or I be if the people instrumental in showing us the way to God had not tried to connect with us?
Yeah... not a comfortable thought!
At the same time, maybe we should bear in mind that for people who aren't connected to God, we can appear VERY unappealing.
And this doesn't have anything to do with us individually, or anything we're doing or not doing.
Correct me if I'm wrong in my thinking here...
As followers of Jesus, we are people who have the Holy Spirit living inside of us.
Like it or not, people who are not following Jesus...
especially those who have decided that, come what may, they are NOT gonna have anything to do with this Jesus stuff & this God connection...
these folks are going to be turned off or become VERY uncomfortable around us.
And it's not because of us.
It is simply because these folks are responding negatively to the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
Is that all a little too mystical, a little to supernatural?
Or is it just a very practical, reasonable thing?
I mean, our connection with God IS a pretty supernatural thing.
And the concept of the Holy Spirit living inside of us is more than just a little mystical!
But does that all make sense?
That, like it or not, people are going to be uncomfortable around us because of Who lives inside us.
They would never label it that way – they would probably label us a obnoxious jerks – or worse.
But that doesn't change the fact that to non-believers, there may be just something about us that makes their flesh crawl, & they can't or won't quantify it.
So, what do we do about it?
I guess be kind, loving, & caring, be who we are, & trust the Holy Spirit to draw people to God through us?
Why do I bring all this us?
I spent a lot of years feeling guilty about the sometimes unexplainable way some people reacted to me & other follow Christ followers.
Sometimes I'm sure I was an obnoxious jerk.
But sometimes maybe it was just a reaction to the Holy Spirit inside of us.
Ok, have I beat this subject to death? ;-)
Think about it, & kind of keep an objective view of what may be going on with folks who aren't interested in anything we have to say about Jesus, God, or the Holy Spirit.