In our line of business, I've been in houses that have made my stomach revolt when the door opened and the stench rolled out to greet us. Our first priority was to get all the doors and windows open so the breeze could blow through, from there we hauled out all the garbage and tore out carpeting. Once all that was done, if the stench was still there, we knew we could bring in charcoal to absorb the smell. Those houses were hideous when we started them, but by the time we were done, they were new inside and they smelled new, too.
That's what God does in our lives. At times, He has to go in and gut our lives to get rid of the stench then build fresh and new. Other times, He gets out His broom and mop and uses a liberal shot of Pine Sol to fight the stains.
Just like cleaning our house involves work, so does cleaning our lives. We need to allow God the freedom to clean as He sees fit. He sees dirt and stains in our lives that we don't notice because, sometimes, the pattern of our life camouflages the dirt, the sin.
The fragrance of God's forgiveness is a clean smell that others recognize and are drawn to. Just like when my husband walked in and immediately smelled, enjoyed, and appreciated the scent of of our home.
The nice thing is that, when God does the cleaning, we don't have to wait until someone tells us it smells clean to make the process seem worthwhile, we can feel the clean and smell that fragrance of forgiveness ourselves. What a wonderful feeling! What a wonderful fragrance! The fragrance of God's forgiveness and grace in our lives.
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;
~2 Corinthians 2:14-15