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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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HAVEN’T I SMELLED YOU SOMEWHERE BEFORE?

Several years ago, Chicago newspapers carried the story of a busboy in a Chinese restaurant who went to a bank to get change for $500. The restaurant needed $250 in coins and $2 5 0 in one-dollar bills. The teller grabbed a stack of $100 bills by mistake and gave the young man $250 in coins and $25,000 in bills!

The young man noticed the error immediately, but detecting a windfall, didn't say anything. He left the bank with the money and hid it in a relative's home. With some of the money, he went to another bank and got $250 in one-dollar bills. He then returned to the restaurant, thinking he had made a small fortune.

The bank teller, when she discovered her mistake, couldn't identify the person to whom she had given the $ 100 bills. But she remembered how he smelled. She knew from his scent that he worked in a Chinese restaurant. She not only remembered the aroma, but she was able to connect it with the exact restaurant where the busboy worked. With the police, she located the restaurant and identified the busboy. He was promptly fired and the money was recovered. The bank decided not to persecute, since the mistake was theirs, and they wanted to preserve good relations with the restaurant.

What do you smell like? As Christians, we are to carry with us "the aroma of Christ." There should be something about us that radiates the love of Christ.

Paul wrote, "For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing" (11 Corinthians 2:15). Obviously, the word "aroma" here is not to be taken literally. The aroma Paul is talking about is not necessarily detected with the nose. But it is sensed by those who come in contact with us.

Ordinarily, aroma is a byproduct of activity. When you exercise, you work up a sweat and get B.O. When you eat garlic, you get garlic breath. If you douse yourself with perfume, you smell like the fragrance counter in a department store. In the same way, when you serve Christ, and do it in a spirit of love and humility, you begin to pick up the aroma of Christ.

St. Francis of Assisi once said, "Preach the gospel at all times; only if necessary use words." He was talking about the aroma of Christ. Can people smell you?

For His Cause
Tim Woodward