Monday, March 14, 2011

A rose by any other name would smell like... death?

Hey guys,

First off, thanks for a rocking sweet weekend. It was thoroughly refreshing to meet and get to know you all a bit.

I think I must have read through Corinthians 2:14-17 for a half an hour, going over and over what it was trying to say to me. I think the part that was causing my consternation was the phrase in 16 that compares us to the aroma of death leading to death for some. Somehow this just doesn't sound overly pleasant to myself. I mean, I've never woken up on a bright sunny day and said, "God, I really want to scare people down to their very souls...". No, I think I would much rather smell like a rose, to have people like me instead of driven from me. Isn't that the nicest way to share Christ with people? Aren't we supposed to love everyone? Isn't everyone around us supposed to fall madly in love with Jesus because they see his love and grace shining through us? (I'm not even worrying about the fact that we screw up and stumble right now)

Oh yeah, not everyone gets along with me because I am a christian. There are those people that just don't like me when I'm not stumbling. Those people who are always uncomfortable when you pray, or when you are wearing a shirt that has some profound statement on it (insert mental image of your favorite jesus freak shirt).

You guys remember that phrase that went something like, "hate the sin, love the sinner"? I'm thinking that this whole "fragrance" comparison is something like that. So yeah, even though we are loving the people, we cant condone sin, because that wouldn't be right. If I put myself in that persons shoes then I might feel a little intimidated by someone who "smelled" like christ, it might feel like a bit of a slap in the face.

When Jesus was chilling with the scum of the time his single action was having two very opposite effects on two groups. The riffraff thought that he was awesome for being so kind and loving and reaching out to them (he smells like roses). The snobs of the day were intimidated by his actions (the death smell).

So to tie that back in with me, (cause what good is understanding without using it?) I have to remember to not let people who feel put off by my faith, knock me away from walk. It doesn't do them any good, and it does nothing but hurt me.

well, its time for me to go and slave away on the trumpet. (and i just had another though darn it!)
I want to know thoughts and comments on this cause when I talk to people about stuff I really gain understanding and retention.


Reid, this is a bestest idea ever. and your 15 min turned into a glorious hour and a half :) thanks man!


  1. Logan, I really think the whole idea of the fragrance scaring people away is true. I didnt think of that when I was reading through the passage, but its true. When people find out youre a christian the usual response is "ohh" and that sometimes turns into the last interaction they will have with you. But i also feel like if we just keep the great fragrance and allow them to smell the consistent sweetness we can perhaps lead them to wonder, whats so different about that person, why do they smell so great? I think that this entire comment may have just made sense to only my brain, but i hope you can somehow understand my madness.

  2. Oh, so that other thought that I had went something like this.

    warning: the following conversation took place in my mind. haha

    "hey logan, another group of people that would think the light of jesus in you smells horrible would be a christian that is up on a soap box to hide their issues. Thats why the Pharisees were soo put off. duh! so logan, why didn't you think of that right off the bat? oh yeah, cause you are always fighting with that stick in your eye called pride..."

    something like that. :) yay, for scripture cause it is sooo stinking (pun intended) refreshing.

  3. Yeah I love when 15 minutes becomes an hour with Jesus! He always tricks us like that and we would want it any other way!

  4. I completely agree with this post. Even if it's not strangers scaring away, sometimes it's your friends seeing you make big changes. Like why the heck are we all living on a houseboat this summer? Why not do something a little more productive? Literally, we're not going to be smelling so great to people all the time.
    But I love what Haley said. Showing people Jesus means building relationships and suddenly the freak who chose to live on a houseboat is this girl with a kind of nice smell coming from her. What's that about? I think those are the relationships God can so be glorified through because he does things we would never expect through them.

    My two cents. ( :

  5. The offense of grace is that it always shines light into darkness. To see the light is to surrender darkness. Fig leaf bikinis were the original sin cover up. God smelled like death because he asked them/us to reveal their shame (their story is most certainly our story.) Surrendering shame to absolute good is often not fun but so good and so necessary. When I think about my own life I hear myself echoing the disciple's words, "this is impossible." I then hear Jesus reply - with you its impossible but with God all things are possible.


  6. and somehow, that smell of death ALSO has a sweet smell to it. again, it's God's economy making no sense in my "Emily's economy" brain... but that's how it works. We wreak of death - but we wreak of death to self and to our own agenda - and as there is less of me, there is more room for Christ and his sweet aroma instead. It smells like death to those who want nothing to do with death to self... but to those who have grasped the understanding that death to self means the greatest Life (with a capital "L") imaginable, it is a sweet, sweet fragrance. Once again, God takes the things the world considers foolish to shame those who think they are wise, and he chooses the things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful (see 1 Cor 1:27).


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