Bible Studies By Sheri Boulet / last year Share Tweet Pin Share The Scent Of A Rose I have always heard the expression “A rose by any other name smells the same.” But I have found this is not to be really true. I can remember as a child stuffing my nose into the fragrant blooms, closing my eyes and deeply drinking in the pungent aroma. Such a regal smell, it has inspired everything from poetry to perfume. It is a universal scent, always identifiable. What could be more wonderful than a colorful blossom with a strong rich bouquet? Even if you were unable to see, you could experience the beauty of the rose. And it seems to me the rose itself as a flower has become even more beautiful. Through careful mixing of different types, there is now practically every color in the crayon box. But has there been a cost to all this blending of the types of roses? The Lord gave the command through Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:17 for us to “come out from among them, and be ye separate.” What does that mean? I know that it does not mean moving into a commune and shutting out the world. We have to reach the world. That was our commission in Matthew 28:19. If we are to be a light to the darkness, we must be seen. But what is it they see? The world knows that we are different. But what does that mean to those lost and hungry souls out there, longing to see His beauty, desiring to rinse the stench of sin from them and bask in the fragrance of truth? What has the cost been to our aroma as Apostolics to allow our experience to be grafted into mainstream religion? My husband has been so sweet over the years to send me many roses. Anytime I am within range of the vase I always feel compelled to press my nose to the tip of the bloom. I can’t remember the last time I received a bouquet that smelled the way my mind thought they should. It’s as if the beauty is on the surface only, there is no substance, no sweetness. Wonderful to look at, there is nothing deeper to enjoy. Many are the times I have enjoyed “old fashioned” roses, grown in someone’s yard, with a perfume so strong and vibrant your very senses dance for joy. There is much to be said for those odorous blooms. Although maybe not as flashy as some varieties, they more than make up for it with the lasting impression their smell leaves. I see so many of our beautiful ladies losing their own fragrance. Allowing our faith and stand on things such as holiness to become watered down to some hybrid version of the experience the pioneers of our faith once held so dear has left some of our saints unrecognizable and some of our churches powerless. Are our lives still a sweet savor to the Lord, or has our lackadaisical attitude concerning the basic cornerstones of our faith allowed us to become a stench in His nostrils? What is the true price that will be paid? Who has not stopped to smell the roses as some point? What if at some point the rose no longer had a scent at all? Although still beautiful, it would become just another flower in the garden. My grandmother always wore the scent of roses, and when I smell the fragrance of the rose I always think of her, even though she died six years before my birth. I know her through my mother and the stories she has passed down to me and through the flower I will forever associate with someone I have never met. I know that she wore rose water. And that smell triggers my own memory of every photo I have seen, every story I have heard about this woman who invariably shaped who I am. Mothers, what of our own children? If we continue to dilute our stand, what is the ultimate price? Our stand not only sets us apart from the world, it protects us, and it acts as a hedge from the world. How are we shaping our own children and even our future grandchildren? If my children’s children never met me in person, what impression would the flower of my life leave for them? Though we call ourselves Apostolic, Pentecostal, or Oneness, we live our beliefs. There is a lost and dying sea of people around us; what do we expect them to carry away from an encounter with us? Will they be drawn back to us again, much as I am drawn over and over to those wonderful, colorful blossoms? Will they see a face in a crowd, perhaps yours or mine and remember again the beauty of His presence? Or will they see just another flower in the garden of life? Will we just be a colorful bloom with no substance, or will the fragrance of His presence in our lives draw the world to take another sniff?