Paul writes about how to live our life in the Light of Christ in Ephesians 5; he tells us to imitate God.
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God (Ephesians 5:1-2).
Children parrot our words and actions back to us. Sometimes it’s cute, and funny, and other times they parrot words that we’d rather they not have heard. Charles Colton, a prolific writer in the late 1800’s, wrote “Intimation is the highest form of flattery”. Colton’s quote is referred to when someone has copied your words, actions, or style, when you did not necessarily welcome the imitation. We are originals, flawed originals, and we are apt to imitate and to be imitated.
Paul writes to reminds us that we should imitate God. In fact, Paul suggests that we imitate God in everything we do. Periodically we need to checks ourselves, our actions, our words, and our tone of voice to see if we are imitating God. If we are not imitating God, and instead are echoing worldly sentiments, we should make the necessary adjustments to get back to imitating the Creator.
Paul goes on to say that we should live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. There is no room in that directive for hate, oppression, intolerance, injustice, or discrimination. There is only love. We are to love one another and leave the rest to God.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. (John 13:34)
Jesus loved us, and we are truly unlovable. We have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but Jesus loved us anyway (Romans 3:23). Jesus loved us so much that He became a sacrifice for us- washing us clean of our sins and promising us that we will be with Him in heaven. His sacrifice makes us sparkle, shine, and apparently also smell good. Through His sacrifice, Paul writes, we are a pleasing aroma to God.
Smell and memory are linked because of how God created our brain to work. What are some of your favorite smells and what memories come rushing back when they waft in your direction? Maybe it’s the smell of Christmas cookies that bring back warm childhood memories, or the smell of a certain type of perfume or cologne that reminds you of a loved one, or the smell of erasers that remind you of heading back to school. God designed our brains so that memory and aroma are connected. Pleasing aromas remind us of cherished memories with cherished people. Paul writes that we are a pleasing aroma to God, and since we are made in God’s image, He smiles when he smells our pleasing aroma.