“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” (II Corinthians 2:14)
Scientists tells us that just as each person has an individual fingerprint, we also each have a particular scent. Some people cover or enhance that scent by using a fair amount of cologne or perfume, and sometimes you can “follow the scent” that a person leaves behind after they have been around.
Paul wrote here that the “scent” that he and his associates left behind was “the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him” (Christ). After people had encountered Paul, they pondered the Christ-like things they had seen and heard from him, and the impact just lingered in the air like a cologne.
This verse should challenge each of us as God’s people: what kind of “scent” are WE leaving behind after we have encountered people? Have we shared words and actions that leave them thinking of Christ — “a sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him”? Or do we leave a different “smell”: perhaps of self-righteousness or superiority? Or maybe a virtually non-existent — and yet powerful — scent of indifference?
May our prayer be that God would so fill us with Himself that even after we have left the presence of people we have encountered, the “aroma” of Christ would still hang in the air, influencing and drawing people towards Him.