It was 34 years ago that I first tried a No Bake Cookie.
I was single, overseas, and living in Air Force barracks. When a coworker’s wife made them for him to share at work, I asked for the recipe. It was the first recipe that someone ever wrote out for me. This couple also happened to be some of the first true Christians I met.
From the ages of 15 to 21, I could have been called a “wild child”. Even though I ran and worked out, I also smoked cigarettes and drank heavily. Very heavily. I lived a very wicked lifestyle and everyone I worked with knew it.
One professing Christian told me that women shouldn’t be in the military. He also told me how his wife stayed home, never wore pants, and only listened to the radio. Sure — like that was going to give me a desire to become a Christian.
Thankfully, God continued to put nonjudgmental people in my path who shared His love in kind and thoughtful ways. They did not put down my sinful lifestyle. They didn’t comment on my filthy language. They showed me Christ’s love in caring actions and the way that they lived their lives.
I’ve used that cookie recipe numerous times. I’ve made them for my own family. I’ve made multiple batches for youth group events. I’ve taken plates of them to new neighbors, sick friends, and new moms. I make them for the kids I work with at school.
I rewrote that recipe on a card because the original became wrinkled and stained from use. Every time I take the recipe card out, I think of that loving Christian wife who made cookies for her husband’s coworkers, how the LORD used those cookies to soften my heart, and I thank Him for that loving act so many years ago. As I made a batch of No Bake Cookies tonight, I thanked the LORD for allowing me to serve Him and will do so every time I make them.
Have you ever known someone whom you didn’t see eye to eye with? Maybe this person’s words and actions irritated you so much that you couldn’t stand to be around them?
There have been several people in my life where our personalities clashed and we didn’t get along. Most of them were arrogant men — men who weren’t very kind, were know-it-alls, and were very bossy to all the women in their lives. Right now there’s a woman I know who acts very similar. Our personalities differ so much and some days it seems like she says things just to get me angry.
As I was reading the Bible this week, she came to mind when I read the Apostle Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 2:14 – 15 reminding us of our aroma: “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.“
I wasn’t reminded of her, but of my own actions and words towards her. Ouch.
If we are to be fragrant as we spread the knowledge of Christ, we have to not be offensive (or stinky!) in our dealings with others. Of course, that doesn’t mean we have to agree with what others are saying, but we must choose our words carefully.
I realize that this is a spiritual battle and I let my guard down. I choose NOT to be smelly and to pray each day asking God to help me when I respond to her.
Thank You, Father, for Your Word. Thank You, Jesus, for Your example to us when You were here on earth. Thank You for loving me in spite of how I fail You each day. Please forgive my horrible stench — my actions and words sometimes do not show You working in me, and I repent of this sin. Please guide me each day to be a pleasing aroma so that others may see You. In Jesus’ name I ask this so that You may be glorified. Amen.