7 Ways to Smell Like a Christian

Last week we talked about the victorious aroma of Christ. This week, we’re looking at how to smell like a Christian.


When one of the grandmothers comes to visit we usually evict one of the boys from their bed and make them sleep in the loft. Confession. Sometimes after they leave I don’t wash the sheets before letting the boy back in his bed. But the thing is, my boys love putting their face in their pillow that night and inhaling deeply.  And I get a kick out of hearing them exclaim, “Ahhhh…smells like Nana or Grammy!”

We all have a distinctive smell about us. What we wear, eat, do. Where we go. Who we hang around with. Our bathing habits and our body chemistry. All impact our scent.

So, how do you smell like a Christian?

Wash regularly.

When I was deployed, bathing didn’t happen nearly as regularly as it does now. Somehow the women’s shower hours always happened while I was working. There were times I went without a shower for two weeks. In the desert in full combat gear under lots of stress. I don’t think I have to tell you what that smelled like. It felt so good to wash those caked on layers of dirt and grime down the drain.

Our sin collects on us like that, too. Just because we’ve been baptized doesn’t mean we don’t need to repent regularly. We’re still human and prone to the desires of our flesh—not ruled by them, but not immune either. Daily, if not more often, we need to wash away the stench of our sin with the blood of Christ. Regular repentance keeps sin from sabotaging our scent.

Regular repentance keeps sin from sabotaging our scent. #smellgod #experiencegod #5senses Click To Tweet

Put on the right outfit.

There’s just something about putting together the perfect outfit. It changes a girl’s whole attitude and perspective. Or is that just me? Typically, my favorite outfits smell like me, my detergent, my oils, my soap, shampoo, and lotion. The more I wear them, there they smell like me.

As Christians, God has given each of us an garment fit for a princess. And to Him it makes us smell like His Son. So, every morning we ought to be putting on Christ’s robes of righteousness. It is the one outfit that will never wear out, fits just right every time I put it on, and is always in style. The more we wear it, the more we smell like Christ. It’s the only outfit that can give us the confidence to face the world and deflect Satan’s shame-filled accusations and lies.

Smell Like a Christian Bread of Life

Consume good food.

When I’ve eaten garlic (which happens almost every meal) or just downed a cup of coffee, I’m always a little self conscious about how my breath smells to others. Not only can it give us a case of halitosis, but some things we eat even seep out of our pores. If you’ve ever been to Korea, you know what I mean.

So, if we are (or even smell like) what we eat shouldn’t we be consuming the best food there is? Jesus said, man should not live on bread alone, but instead on the Word of God. Jesus is the Word and the Bread that sustain our very life. When we read, study, and internalize His Word, it will come out of our mouths and when we eat the Bread of Life, we smell like Christians. (More on experiencing God through our sense of taste in a a couple weeks.)

When we eat the Bread of Life, we'll smell like Christians! #experiencegod #smellgod #5senses Click To Tweet

Exercise your faith.

On days when I’ve exercised (which don’t happen as often as they should), I know I need to shower. I don’t want to go to bed smelling like a gym rat. It’s a very distinctive and powerful odor.

So is exercising our faith. We do that by not only recognizing the strengths God has given us and using them to serve His people, but also by turning to Him in our weakness. Even when it doesn’t directly benefit us. Even when we don’t know how it will all work out. Even when it may not be popular. Stand up for what we believe in. Step out in faith to do God’s will. Lift our cares up to the Lord. People can tell we’re Christians when we step out in faith for the purpose of bringing God glory, but if we’re not exercising our faith, we won’t smell like Christians.

Go to the House of the Lord.

When we visit our relatives, our boys always mention how they smell like Aunt So-And-So’s (there are too many to mention all my lovely sisters by name) house as we drive away. Especially if they’ve done our laundry while we were there.

The same amazing thing happens when we visit with God in the place He promised to meet us…His House. When we go to church we get to exchange our dirty laundry for Christ-scented robes. Sure we can (and absolutely should) repent often on our own, but hearing our forgiveness announced by one anointed to bring the good news is a powerful way to get our Christian scent boosted. Like I said last week, Christ’s victorious aroma clings to us when we commune with Him, when we go to His house, we’ll carry His scent with us when we leave.

Hang out with the right crowd.

I tend to take on the traits of those I spend time with. Accents, mannerisms, preferences, habits. The characteristics of the people I hang out with rub off on me. Sometimes, I even begin to smell like my friends, just a little.

While it is certainly good to go to church on Sunday or Saturday night and Wednesday or whenever you can really, it doesn’t do us much good if that is our only interaction with other Christians. God gave us a fellowship of believers and community of Christians to do life with, outside the walls of the church, to be the Church to the world. And He uses our interactions with other Christians to sharpen and hone and refine our faith — to make us more like His Son. (Believe it or not, next week we’re going to look at why you might want to hang out with the wrong crowd.)

Know your ancestry.7 Ways to Smell Like a Christian

Some people are just prone to smelling stronger than others. Just ask the next dog you see. Some of our inherited traits impact the way we smell, primarily our immune system which fights the bacteria that cause bad breath and body odor. Families often carry similar scents.

By faith we belong to God’s family. Not only are we children of God created in His image, but we also have a rich inheritance in His kingdom. Because of our royal ancestry we have inherited a rich aroma. Let’s never forget it!

Can people smell Christ on you? Which of these 7 things could you do to smell more like a Christian?

Can people smell Christ on you? Which of these 7 things could you do to smell more like a Christian? #experienceGod #smellGod #5senses Click To Tweet



1) https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2016/02/03/science-explains-why-some-people-are-naturally-smellier-than-others/#610e3b5d46c1


Smell Like A Christian


Linking Up With

For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne EllerFaith On FireSusan B. MeadFaith Filled FridayGrace and TruthFaith and Fellowship FridaySoul SurvivalRah Rah Link UpTell His StorySitting Among FriendsTestimony TuesdayPlanting Roots, and Fresh Market FridaySalt and Light, and Becoming Press’s Writer Wednesday, Moments of Hope

24 thoughts on “7 Ways to Smell Like a Christian

  1. Liz, this is brilliant! My inner biology nerd is so happy right now as you make these connections between God’s Word and smells. Thank you for this , saving and shared!

  2. I love, love the analogies found in this post. I especially find I need to work on exercising my faith. It’s easier to do, when I’m with the right crowd, but outside of that, I’m not always intentional. Thanks for this, ‘smelling like a Christian’ post

  3. I love that reminder that whoever we hang out with, we’ll take on their “smell.” And it’s so true. I also love sometimes smelling someone’s perfume on a scarf or pillow they used. <3 I have a sensitive nose. I want the fragrance of Christ to permeate my life!

  4. Liz, these are great ways to smell like a Christian! Such a good word for all of us if we really want to carry the aroma of Christ. I love your first one, “Wash regularly.” It reminds me of Joshua 3 when the Israelites had to prepare to cross the Jordan River. “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” (verse 5) The way they consecrated themselves was to wash in the river, asking God to cleanse them of their sins. And so must we if we want wonders and amazing things…oh, and to smell like Jesus. 🙂

  5. Wow I love the illustrations here! So many good things to chew on. My husband was also deployed, twice, and he has told me about those make-do baby wipe “showers”. Eww. Thank you for your service.

    1. Yeah…It doesn’t quite get the job done! Thank you for the sacrifices your family has made for our freedom, too! Seems like when we dive into using our sense of taste to experience God might be right up your alley! Blessings!

  6. I like this Liz. These are all great ways to really be aware of the smell be are giving off. What we do most, who we hang out with most, where our thoughts are most is what we will smell like. Needed the reminder

  7. It is funny how we can relate to the smell of baby powder or shampoo. Scent is also a discerning gift. Like cigarettes cling to people so can certain spirits, so you are right about the company you keep. I know of someone who bathed constantly but it didn’t get sin off. I want to wear that robe all the time, and I’m becoming more convinced that it is the Holy Spirit, just like the armor of God. We may not see it but it is there. Maybe you can also do Jesus washing feet, we are bathed and clean, purified, washed by the water of the Word, but we pick up dust.

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