The Stinky Sour Sippy
"But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him; for we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life" (2 Corinthians 2:14-16a, NIV).
Friend To Friend
A few years ago, I flew to Nashville to record vocals for a CD project. My girlfriend, Kerri, and I had spent the last day of my trip in a studio, recording background vocals. When we were finished, I had to high tail it to the airport in order to catch my flight home.
Kerri, a young mom, kindly offered to take me to the airport, and I gladly accepted. I'm all about spending time with my friends and catching up on life. As we made our way to the car, Kerri apologetically mentioned that her daughter had dropped a sippy cup of milk in her car the day before, and that she hadn't been able to locate it.
"I will be more than happy to take you to the airport, Gwen," she said, "but there's just no telling what my car is going to smell like!"
"No problem!" I said. "I'm a mom! I've dealt with many-a-missing milk sippy in my day. How bad can it be?"
Did I mention that it was one of those "you can fry an egg on the sidewalk" days of August? Yep. It was! You know where this is going, don't you?
As we opened the car doors, Kerri and I were smacked silly with the stinky smell of sour milk. Not just a subtle smell, mind you - but a dominant, "been sitting in the 100 degree weather all day" smell. It reeked! We laughed until we almost cried at how horrible it smelled as we made our way down the expressway to the airport.
Sounds kind of funny, but smells matter. Some smells, like a stinky, sour milk sippy, are offensive. They make you want to escape their presence. While other smells, like fresh baked bread, or a lotioned-up baby, can be greatly pleasurable and inviting. Which type of smell best represents your presence and persona?
As Christians, we need to remember that our attitudes and conversations give off a smell as well. The apostle Paul said, "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him; for we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life" (2 Corinthians 2:14-16a, emphasis mine).
Does your attitude give off an aroma of Christ? Are those around you drawn to Him as a result of the love and peace you display? Do your conversations consistently honor God, embody the fruit of the Spirit, and expel the fragrance of life ... or are they sometimes laced with bitterness, resentment, anger, complaining, and/or gossip? It's time to locate and throw away our stinky, sour sippy attitudes, and ask the Lord to renew our minds. Let's run the race before us as women of honor who, through the power of the Holy Spirit, give off an aroma of Christ.
Holy Father, please forgive me for all of the times I've allowed sinful behavior to creep into my thoughts and conversations. I ask that you will now, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24, NIV).
In Jesus' Name,
Now It's Your Turn
Read, write down, and commit to memory the following verse: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law" (Galatians 5:22-23, NIV).
Spend some time in prayer right now. Ask God to reveal to you any areas in your life that might not "smell" as they should. Then talk to a trusted friend about what He brings to your heart, and ask her to pray for you and hold you accountable.
More From The Girlfriends
As I'm finishing up this devotion, I've got a pot of fresh coffee brewing. Oh how I love the smell of my dark roast! It's important to understand that when we put love in, we will live love out. Spend some time in God's Word today. I have a GiG challenge for you: for the next 16 days, read one chapter of the New Testament book of MARK per day and ask God to speak to your heart through His Word. Who's in? Click over to my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/GwenSmithMusic and let me know that you are good for the challenge!!
I want us to focus our attention today on James 1:2-4,
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
What I want to look at today is how God seeks to bring us to maturity by building patience into our lives. If there is one thing I have learned in my Christian walk, it is that God is not in as much of a hurry as I am!
Now, what is patience? Patience is the long-lasting quality of your faith. If you let go of your patience, your faith falls to the floor.
The end result God is looking for is that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. The word perfect here means mature. God is developing maturity in us by working on our patience.
I have a dear friend who has a great church. They endeavored to build another building on their property and it ended up being a major undertaking. In fact, it turned out to be the most difficult thing he had ever done. I mean, it took a strip out of his hide.
Eventually it got built, but you know what my friend says about it? He says, "You see that building? I didn't build that building. It built me."
Going through those trials, facing those difficulties, having his faith tested, having to trust God when it seemed like there was a lack of finances, having to hold onto God's Word when he was a laughing stock with some people, all of that built character in him as he stood the test.
I have a question for you: Has anything been building you lately? If so, rejoice, because God is working maturity in you!
Beth Moore "It's Scary to Be Us"
Beth Moore tells a funny story about a visit to the doctor and the revelation she received regarding God's empathy. Wednesdays with Beth presented by LIFE today with James and Betty Robison.
Watch the full episode at http://www.lifetoday.tv/swf/2010/03/1...