“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” (v14). Paul’s plans were often “foiled” or overturned, humanly speaking, by storms, delays, or unexpected events (v12-13). Yet he remained confident that everywhere he went, even in prison, he and his companions were “the aroma of Christ” to those around them, both to those who accepted the message and to those who did not.
As men and women of “sincerity,” (v17), we don’t change our behavior depending on circumstances. We remain true to the Lord, seeking to be the aroma of Christ in every situation.