Vs 2 For if I cause you pain, who is there to make me glad but the one whom I have pained?
Vs 3 … I felt sure of all of you, that my joy would be the joy of you all.
Vs 5 Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you.
Vs 10 Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive.
Vs 14 … thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.
Vs 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing,
Vs 17 For we are … men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.
Paul emphasizes the shared nature of emotions here … good or bad.
Joy and pain are not merely personal and individualized …
“my joy would be the joy of you all”
Pain is caused “not to me” … but, “to all of you”.
And emotions are not the only thing shared, but more importantly “forgiveness” is, as well.
“anyone whom you forgive I also forgive”
As a result, what God does in us “spreads”.
What then am I spreading? … Pain or Joy? … Resentment or Forgiveness?
I will spread something … good or bad.
I will have “an aroma” … “a fragrance”. … Do I “smell” like death or life? Perishing or saving?
Vultures find a carcass the same way a butterfly finds a flower … an aroma that spreads.
I must not “over personalize” my relationship with God and Christ and the Spirit.
Even talk of a “personal relationship with Jesus” becomes questionable on these terms.
It’s so easy to become individualistic in faith.
It’s so much easier to sit down with a bible than to sit down with a person.
It’s so much easier to know some thing than to show some one.
So, then a big question for myself after reading Paul’s description here:
After time in God’s Word …
Does my “knowledge of Him” in me become the “aroma of Christ” to others?
How can I tell? … Am I a “man of sincerity speaking in Christ”?
Does the fragrance of Christ “flow” from me readily without me mustering it up, but … sincerely?
Thank you, again, Father, for your Word
Help it, Holy Spirit, become a fragrance pleasing to you and others
Let it lead to joy and forgiveness and your fruit
In Jesus name,