Have you ever been driving down the road or sitting at a traffic light and noticed a bumper sticker that really got your attention? Perhaps it was funny…or offensive…or profound. Here are a few you may have seen:
- Watch out for the idiot behind me!
- I bet Jesus would have used His turn signal!
- The closer you get the slower I go!
- If life gives you lemons, throw them at someone!
- I express my individuality thru mass-produced bumper stickers!
- Your kid may be an honor student, but you are still an idiot!
- Sometimes I wake up grumpy, other times I let him sleep!
- Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine!
- Why is abbreviation such a long word?
- There’s no reason to tailgate when I’m doing 50 in a 35…and those flashing lights on top of your car look ridiculous!
Well…maybe you have seen unusual ones. Some are funny, some informative, some make you mad or embarrassed. The fact is that those stickers are a reflection of the person driving the car:
If it’s funny, we think the person driving the car has a sense of humor.
If it’s mean or vulgar, we may hope we don’t have to talk to that person.
If it’s political, you may like or hate that person driving the car.
Truth is that what’s on the outside of the car is often a reflection on who is inside the car!
Well…what so-called bumper sticker are you wearing? I’m not talking about your car. What do people see when they see you? What message do you send by your words… or actions…or aroma?
Proverbs 11:9 msg…The loose tongue of the godless spreads destruction; the common sense of the godly preserves them.
Proverbs 15:1 msg…A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.
Our words can say a lot about what is going on inside us. They reveal who we really are. People can see through our hypocrisy when we proclaim to be Christians but speak like heathens….when we proclaim peace and speak hatred…When we want people to like us, so we speak evil about fellow Christians.
Ephesians 4:20-24 msg…But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.
1 Peter 3:15…But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
Let me remind you that people are watching. Your kids/grandkids are watching…your neighbors are watching…your co-workers are watching. They want to see how you put your faith into action. Are you loving and kind? Do you care about others? Are you living a life that glorifies your Lord and Savior?
A funny thing happened to me last week. I have been noticing a foul smell when I am driving in my car. At first, I blamed it on the fact that the car windows have been tightly closed in the cold winter months. I then started to think that maybe it was me…that I stink! Well, as the nicer weather came last week, I got the car washed. I was feeling energetic, so I got out of the vacuum. As I poked it under my seat, I pulled out 2 onions. They had been there a while and were bolting fresh growth…and they stunk!
How is your aroma? Now, I’m not talking about if there are onions under your seat…or how well your deodorant is working! But, are there “onions” in your life? Items that seem hidden but impact who you are and how you “smell” to others?
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 $250 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 at 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 prosecute 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.
2 Corinthians 2:15…For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.
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, the aroma is a byproduct of activity. When you exercise, you work up a sweat and get body odor. 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.
Stay connected to the Lord daily…and others will “sense” that you are a child of God.
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?
So, over the next week, I challenge you to watch yourself to see how you reflect the Lord.
- Watch what you say! Are your words sweet and uplifting?
- Watch what you do! Do your actions reflect your Savior?
- Watch your “aroma”! Do you radiate the Love of Christ!
Humor for the day:
The frugal Lutheran walked into the house panting and almost completely exhausted. “What happened, honey?” inquired his wife.
“It’s a great new idea I have to be a better steward of our resources,” he gasped. “I ran all the way home from the stewardship committee meeting behind the bus and saved $1.50.
“That wasn’t very bright,” replied his flustered wife. “Why didn’t you run behind a taxi and save $10?”