The Fragrance of Godly Christian Character
It was late evening and I had been comfortably sat viewing a documentary on TV when suddenly I decided to stretch my limbs a little so I wandered out into the garden. It was a clear evening with the light from the moon illuminating the surroundings and immediately I became aware that the air was filled with a fragrance. My magnolia tree was in full bloom and it was emitting a scent that was pleasing to the senses. I remained there for some time savouring the scented night air before finally returning to sit and reflect on the influence of true Christian character.
There are many pleasant sensations in life that thrill the soul; I personally love the spring with the awakening of new life. The thrill of seeing the early spring flowers beginning to blossom after a long lifeless winter is a joy to the heart. There is something about the scenery and incense of flowers that enters into the soul, something that delights and elevates. What can equal the fragrance of a rose; the perfumery of sweet peas; the lingering aroma of honeysuckle at the close of the day; the freshness of newly cut grass? All these are pleasant and grateful influences that do the soul good.
There is a lot to learn from flowers, for they are a silent ministry. Jesus bids us to consider them and presents himself has two of the most beautiful: ‘The lily of the Valley’ and ‘The rose of Sharon’. The prophet Hosea says of the Lord that “His branches shall spread and his beauty shall be as the olive tree and his smell as Lebanon’”.
It is well known that people who are engaged in preparing perfume and scent from flowers smell just as perfumed themselves, for they cannot help but transmit its fragrance. Jesus was a very attractive person in that he transmitted the very character of God, wherever he went, his very presence revealed a beautiful nature and a glowing countenance. His compassionate ear and his heart that beat with the love of God affected all that drew near to him.
Real Christian character gives off an ‘odour’ that is pleasant, heart warming and magnetic in its drawing power. Godly character is not a gift, but an achieving; it is the sum of many ordinary days invested in a right relationship with the Lord. Godly character is fragrant – it ministers! It is a sweet savour to the Lord and an influence among men.
God’s eternal plan and his desire for our lives is that we should be partakers of the Divine Nature, and that the beauty of the Lord should be found in us with all its fragrance. Our relationship with the Lord and our ministry to him must always take priority over everything else. For in the things of God, the activity that is prized the most highly in heaven is the one that gives off the fragrance of a true heart relationship. Mary gave Jesus perhaps her only worthwhile possession – an alabaster box containing the selected oils of carefully cultivated flowers. It was more than an outward show of affection – she lavished on his head all that she possessed, and the scriptures tell us that “The odour filled the whole room.”
The fairest flower is not the one that bears the largest bloom, nor yet the flower whose brightest hour is wasted in the gloom; the fairest flower is that which leaves its loveliness behind, which leaves its perfume in our hearts, its beauty in our minds
Jack has been a faithful member of the Free Methodist Church for 34 years, spending many of those years in leadership. He lives in Lancashire, UK, and has recently celebrated 60 years as being a Christian! Find our more about Jack and the story behind Jack’s corner: Treasures of the Word here.