The Aroma

By Boe Parrish

Recently I returned from a life-changing ten day trip to China. There I worked with a group of Chinese businessmen who have a heart to start corporate chaplaincy in Hong Kong and throughout China. Touring over a dozen factories and one elementary school, surprisingly, I found some of the warmest and most gracious people on earth. Most of the factory owners were believers in Christ, but unable to share their faith as a result of the position the Chinese government takes against people of faith.

The businessmen in Hong Kong wanted us to communicate how we are caring for employees in the States, and if it would be possible to offer a program similar for the workers in China. I affirmed that Chinese companies were very similar to the companies in the US. Chinese businessmen fear government intervention if they offer a “faith-based” program, and here in the States there is fear of litigation if we offer a “faith-based” program. In either case there must be great sensitivity to the employees with an on-site, care-giving program.

Through the Holy Spirit Paul tells us in II Corinthians 2:14,15 (NIV), “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.”

Equally, if I go into a business in China or in the United States and try to push religion on employees, it wouldn’t set very well in either case. But a wiser way to help businesses care for their employees is to walk as Jesus walked through life…as a servant of all. Servants never demand; rather, they simply and humbly serve everyone to the best of their ability.

In serving, if I leave the aroma of Christ, then wonderful and fruitful results will occur. By building quality relationships with those around me, I have a much better opportunity to speak about my faith, than if I do so without an invitation or if I am pushy.

How is your fragrance? What aroma do you leave behind? Do you leave the aroma of Christ or some other smell? In II Corinthians 2:16 (NIV) it continues, “To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.”

Our goal is to spread the fragrance of life everywhere we go and to every person we meet.

Boe Parrish

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