Cleanliness next to godliness
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: The world has experienced something as never before in the wake of the coronavirus. All the sudden cleanliness has headlined the news daily. Does the Bible speak to the subject of cleanliness? — C.V.
Dear C.V.: The great preacher John Wesley made a comment in one of his sermons about cleanliness and certainly God does want us to be pure in body and keep our surroundings clean. It has been proven that uncleanness of person or property may endanger the health or life of family or even of society. Someone said, “There is a close tie between cleanliness and morals.” While some may debate this, cleanliness is important.
The ancient Jews strove for physical cleanliness on religious grounds; and while many of these laws have been abolished, many others are incorporated into our own way of life today. The principle of physical cleanliness is still in force.
In America, even in the poorest of circumstances, a person can afford some soap and water. God has given us our bodies and we are to take care of them in every reasonable way we can. The apostle Paul commanded Christians to be pure in body because we are the temple of the Holy Spirit.
But cleanliness means more than just keeping our bodies washed and our homes clean. God wants everything about us to reflect His goodness, including our minds. That’s why Scripture says, “Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — [think] on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)