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Spiritual and Physical Cleanliness


The old idiom “cleanliness is godliness” may mean different things to many people and could refer to physical appearance or a spiritual setting but is it possible that the two could be interconnected together? That is, could a clean physical appearance and setting such as a home or body be spiritually cleansing? To answer this question, we’d have to do two different things: look at the individual person as we are all different and think differently but also, look at scripture to see what God tells us.

Cleanliness is an important aspect within scripture in many of the things that we do and how we live our lives even the way we eat our food. Deuteronomy 14 tells us on different occasions that we are to eat of clean animals and while we now live under grace, the foods that we eat still need to be clean. Scripture is clear that we, as believers, need to be clean from within (spiritually). Jesus came to Earth to cleanse man of our wickedness and wash us clean as snow and now, we are now washed in/under the blood.

John 15:3 reads “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” In terms of our spirit, more importantly, Psalms 51:10 reads “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Obviously, living with a clean spirit is important to God but also, for our health whether it’s our mental health, our physical health or our relationship with God. Life becomes stressful and this rule goes for everyone but it’s much easier to get through when we have a sound relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

It does not take long to understand that having a clean spirit helps us fight against issues like anxiety and stress but it also shows our willingness and promotion to do more. Most of us, including myself, need a bit more motivation to do more at times and a clean spirit helps us go that extra mile and I believe that this is the same concept for our physical health. For example, if we are clean, physically, we feel better and have more confidence which does help boost mental health and while I am not a doctor, if a person has less anxiety and stress and keeps a clean spirit, a person is able to fight off sickness.

Of course, this does not mean that a person will not get sick but if a person does not have the negative factors and influences in their lives, particularly their mind and body, they will stand better opportunities of fighting off sickness and the best way is to stay with the Lord. Proverbs 16:2 reads “All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.” We need to be aware that spiritual warfare is real and so having the armor of God on is significant in the battles that we fight which is why we must remain with God.

Think of a clean spirit in the same way we look at having a clean house. Luke 11:24 reads “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out” and Luke 11:25 continues “And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.” Those whose spirit is unclean and not with the Lord is where Satan dwells but more importantly, rules, and this is much like an unclear house for most people. When the house is not kept up, most people feel as though something is wrong and we hear it often “my house is a mess.”

Job 14:4 asks “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean one? No one” is the answer. No one except that of Christ and while we are able to clean a home, our lives are never truly clean unless we possess the spirit of Christ. When we do, we can claim that of Job “I am clean without transgression, I am innocent; neither is there iniquity in me” (Job 33:9). In terms of a clean house and a physically outward appearance, just like a clean spirit, we only need to look to scripture for guidance and understanding.

Back to motivation and there may not be any better motivation for cleanliness than Proverbs 31:25: “Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.” In other words, we should clean and take care of what we can and not worry about what tomorrow shall bring as we have no control over it. Let it go and let God take care of it. Isaiah 32:18 reads “And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;” In other words, where God dwells so will peace and quiet within our homes and environments which makes all things clean whether physically or spiritually.

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Written by Billy Ray Parrish


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