Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.

—Psalm 32:1,2

suffering through the common, seasonal cold brings headaches, sleepless nights, and overall physical frustration. Clogged nasal passages make it difficult to breathe, and a side effect is that you might lose your sense of smell. Can you relate to this temporary, but frustrating condition?

One evening I was home alone suffering with a cold. I let our dog inside to keep me company. A few hours later my children walked into the house and immediately started yelling, “Mom, what is that awful smell? It smells like a skunk!” To my dismay, our protective canine must have wrestled with a skunk in the backyard. Guess who won the fight! Because of my cold, I couldn't detect the pungent odor right under my nose. I did wonder why he was rubbing his body all over the rugs in the house. But I just thought he needed to scratch his back. Needless to say, the smell lingered for days and days.

God created humans with the amazing ability to detect thousands of odors. This automatic sense of smell, called the olfactory system, is constantly activated in our bodies. Because of this high level of sensitivity, we are able to distinguish between smells that draw us to the source, as well as odors that cause us to run away.

In biblical times, sweet perfumes and odors were used to reflect triumphs and victories. Conversely, there were fragrances that represented death. Notice what 2 Cor. 2:14 says, But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere. Paul used the Roman triumphal procession as a figure of speech to praise God. In a victory procession, the priests followed the Roman general with vessels filled with incense. This presented the spectators with a smell of victory over the enemy.

Paul, of course, presented God as the conquering general leading the victory parade. He and the others who preached about Jesus released the sweet fragrance of victory in Christ. The name Jesus in the Greek means “the anointed one, salvation, Messiah.” In other words, His anointing is a sweet aroma that penetrates everything and everyone. As Jesus indwells believers, His fragrance seeps out from us to those we encounter.


Do you see a correlation between physical congestion and spiritual congestion? When we allow sin to invade our lives, it’s like our heads being plugged up with colds. In either case, it’s difficult to breathe clearly. Confessing sin is like taking a decongestant. It relieves the effects sin has on our lives. Today, take time to confess to the Lord any areas of sin, so you can inhale the sweet aroma of Jesus! Read all of Psalm 32, The Joy of Forgiveness.