I love the smell of the fragrant flowers. I love lavender, magnolia, honeysuckle and sometimes roses. I love the spicy scents of cinnamon and cardamom, ginger and cloves. There are so many aromas that are pleasant.Last night my husband discovered a not so pleasant smell. He found the stench of potatoes spoiled in the pantry. The temperatures in the 90s last week turned slightly old potatoes into rotten potatoes. The odor permeated the entire kitchen. This is the comparison made in 2 Corinthians. Because of our relationship with Christ we give off a sweet scent rising to God. We spread this essence everywhere we go. People sense this about us and they are pleased in their souls. It shows in the actions we take and people see the power and love of God. It appears in our reactions to those around us as people see the mercy and grace of God. It is felt in our manners so people can experience the gentleness and kindness of God. Those of a different nature are repelled from us. They see in us what they must avoid in order to keep doing things their way. They treat us like the bad funk of spoiled garbage.But what happens when I am not treating people around me with kindness? How is it perceived? What happens when I do not rely on God’s power to help me show love or mercy? I become a stench that spreads judgment, ill feelings and resentment. I am not the most important part. God’s love is most important. Even if I know where God is leading, God’s love needs to take us there. Even if I could perform miracles but I did depend on God’s love, kindness or gentleness then the miracles would stink of selfishness.Help me God to depend on you and your spirit in me. Help me show your love and your kindness to those in need. Help me to be gentle to those around me and especially to my family and my closest friends. Let me be a fragrant perfume to those I meet. 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse.Colossians 3:11-13 So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.Romans 2:4 Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.