In general, Costa Rican’s become offended if you were to tell them they smelled. That’s because they take great pride in their appearance and hygiene. They put US North Americans to shame. And I have often wondered what they think of some of the Europeans and Canadians who, by choice, don’t bathe as often or use deoderant.
Nearly all Costa Ricans spend a great amount of time preparing to go out. Their hair and clothing are always neat and clean. Even those who are “the poorest of the poor,” will put on their finest. They make sure their children are well-dressed also. You will often see Ticos in restaurants or at their workplaces with a toothbrush and toothpaste in hand. A typical grocery/department store has huge sections dedicated to the accommodation of a Tico’s desire to keep themselves and their homes smelling fresh and clean. From soaps, deoderants, shampoo, laundry, and household air-fresheners and cleaners, it’s unbelievable, to me, that these aisles take up nearly a third of our local grocery.
How do you smell? And how do you present yourself? I know I’m not always at my best. But I know I should be. Even more so, that I call myself a Christian. Who cares if you’re a little smelly? It depends. 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 says that while we should smell pleasing, some will still find us offensive.
“But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?” (NLT)
I have included another video and translation of one of the song’s we sang this weekend as part of the worship service.