I walked out onto my front step to check the temperature outside. It had been a hot and humid evening in Michigan, and I wanted to see if there was a cool breeze. Something powerful was in the air, and it caught me by surprise. It lodged in my nose and would not go away.
The sweet smell of a flower in bloom saturated the space. I didn't know that one of the plants in the front border of our house was the bearer of a potent fragrance. I breathed it in deep and was refreshed.
Dr. Stanley points out in his message, “Walking In Love,” that God's love operating in us creates a sweet aroma to those around us. As we live out our Christian lives, showing love as we work, play, and build relationships, the spiritual air around us is changed, charged even, and people notice.
I've seen this happen in older couples that have been married for many years. Their love for God and for one another permeates their lives, and all who know them recognize the durability and vibrancy of their love. That love creates an atmosphere around them, and it makes people notice. When they're holding hands, or whispering to one another, the infusion of love is palpable.
I've also experienced that love with my own parents as they cared for my brother, born with cerebral palsy. As Mom and Dad showed sacrificial and unconditional love to Gene, the fragrance of that love spilled out to the rest of the family, to our friends and neighbors, and to the community. Genuine love gets into the air and refreshes the spirit.
The opposite is also true. Artificial love—that fake love that is selfish, rude, and ugly—bears its own odor, and it is not pleasant. Like a skunk, it gets noticed for all the wrong reasons. That counterfeit love, offered in buckets by our culture, can stink up a relationship, a family, a church, or a business. It can make you sick.
All the more reason to make sure the love of God is active and demonstrated in us.
Imagine our lives as potent dispensers of the love of God, bringing refreshment and comfort to anyone who gets within our sphere of influence. Imagine the power of love, wafting out across our streets, our towns, our states. Imagine the fragrance of God's love, attracting people to the grace of Christ Jesus and His offer of redemption.
Something powerful is in the air. At least it could be.
Dr. Stanley talks about how we can share God’s love in his message “Walking in Love,” airing today on radio.