Have you ever noticed that every home has a distinct odor? I notice our home’s scent after I’ve been away for a week or more—I open the door and the familiar scent of home greets me. It’s odd that I don’t notice it in my usual comings and goings. It’s like an extended time away clears out my nasal passages so that I notice what has become so familiar. It’s like those commercials for the air freshening spray, Febreze:
Febreze solves the problem we weren’t even aware of: that we’ve become “nose blind” to offensive smells because they are a steady part of our daily lives.
If odor blindness is possible for our physical senses, is it also possible in a spiritual sense? I think it could be. Interestingly enough, Scripture speaks about our lives giving off an odor. I bet most of us don’t even notice it, because we are in its midst all the time. We can’t get a break to clear out our spiritual nasal passages, because wherever we go, there we are. Check out this from Paul’s letter to the believers in Ephesus:
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:1–2)
The way that Jesus loved us and gave up His life for produced a fragrant scent that God could detect. His olfactory receptors must be way more sensitive than ours. But just because we can’t detect our life scent doesn’t mean it isn’t there. How we go about our days produces a certain sort of fragrance, either good or bad.
Now, I’ve not been around an actual zombie, but I’m guessing they have a rather unpleasant odor—all that decaying flesh can’t smell good. Likewise, I’m guessing spiritual zombies have a certain sort of stench too. Fading faith can’t produce the sort of fragrant scent that is pleasing to God. Faith that is alive and growing is full of self-sacrificing love, just like Jesus.
What sort of scent is your life producing these days?