Friday, April 13, 2007

Virtue in a Bottle

“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue…” (Pet.1:5)

Coming through Proverbs in my yearly journey through the Bible, I found myself in chapter thirty-one today. I have read, spoken and written about the verses on the virtuous woman so often through the years that I am tempted to give her less than the full attention she deserves. For that reason, I try to look at her each time as a new acquaintance, rather than an old friend. As if to remind me of how easy it is to handle spiritual truths carelessly, a weekly news magazine came into my hands also today with an interesting little item that made me shake my head in disgust. I think I will share it with you in its entirety and see what your reaction will be:

A California perfume company has introduced the world’s first biblically themed fragrance. “Virtue,” from perfumer IBI, is based on years of scriptural research and includes notes of apricot, frankincense, and myrrh in a blend of 3,000-year-old scents. Retailing at $80 for a 1.7-ounce bottle, Virtue will enable its wearer to smell like Christ and many of the saints, says IBI CEO Rick Larimore. “Many individuals of high spiritual attainment,” he says, “give off a fragrance attributed to their virtue.”[1]

First, virtue doesn’t come in a bottle, nor can you pull it over your head or add it to your vocabulary. You are not born with it, and it cannot be bought. More important, it has nothing to do with a scent that is given off. The way one looks may be a better indicator, but that isn’t even fool-proof. Virtue transcends the senses and emanates from the Spirit of God. The most beautiful fragrance for any woman is the “odour” of the ointment that filled the house, when Mary poured out all she had on the Person of Jesus Christ (Jno.12:3). And you can be sure, a life given over completely to Him is far more costly, and of far more value, than $80. As Solomon says, the price of a woman of virtue is “far above rubies.”

Watchman Nee observed, “In a world system darkened with the smoke of the pit, how we rejoice to meet saints who are fresh with the clean air of heaven.” This is the fragrance of virtue, and I want my life to be saturated in it!

[1] THE WEEK. April 27, 2007. p.6.

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