Vs. 4, “For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you.” Tears have always been an important part of our lives as well as the Christian life. We know Jesus wept, Paul would weep, Jeremiah would weep and the psalmist speaks that there will be no harvest without tears (Psalm 126:5-6). Paul did not want to visit them until the matter that was causing problems was worked out. We are reminded of the man back in I Cor. 5 who they would be exhorted to let him go. The problem was this…they let him go…he repented…but they would now would not accept & forgive.
Regarding application…Aroma’s effectiveness. Vs. 15, “For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” The perfume business is surely a mult-billion dollar enterprise. And it has been for thousands of years. Remember the woman who put the alabaster jar on Jesus…that perfume was a year’s wages. Simply go into the fancy department stores and see a 12 oz. bottle of perfume can run you hundreds of dollars and thousands of dollars at the high end stores. Paul gives us a picture that we must not forget…we are the aroma of Christ, first to God and then to others. Our fragrance is not dependent upon number or effectiveness…rather obedience & tears. Remember Jeremiah’s apparent failure was no failure to God. Question: Are you sweet smelling or do you have a pungent odor? When we serve God and choose to obey, we put on the aroma of Christ. When we choose selfishness and disobedience…let’s just say we smell the opposite of nice =). Most of you at least take a shower everydayt. Why…because you don’t want to smell bad throughout the day. How much more then should we spiritually put on the aroma of Christ so we smell good to God & others!