Thanks to Deb del Villar for writing today’s blogpost.
Halitosis or Holiness
Recently, I have been reading through Proverbs. It always fascinates me as to what the Lord shows me that I never saw before. While reading Proverbs 13, verse 5 jumped out at me.
The King James version reads, wicked make themselves a stench. When you look up the word ‘stench’ in Strongs Concordance it defines it as to smell bad, to be offensive morally, abhorred, and odious. I especially love the last description – to stink utterly. Another translation reads that the wicked man is loathsome, his very breath spreads pollution. I lingered as I thought about what that meant.
Immediately I thought of speaking with someone who has bad breath – halitosis. As I am sure you have experienced this as well, I know you understand. It is offensive and disgusting causing you to back away as subtly as you can. The smell can linger in the air, polluting it. You may even try to avoid that person in the future.
The word, ‘stench’ reminded me of a contrasting phrase that God uses when speaking of someone who is doing His will and following His Word – “sweet smelling savor.” Here I picture a tray of warm chocolate chip cookies, a turkey roasting in the oven, honeysuckle blooming, or even freshly washed sheets hung on the clothesline to dry. I breathe in deeply and draw in close, relishing the moment. We are to pursue relationships that draw us closer to God.
What a contrast! Verse 3 gives you a hint as to how to stay sweet and not offensive. We are to guard our mouth – to keep it clean. There are many causes for bad breath but the most common is not keeping your mouth clean. Daily discipline of brushing your teeth and flossing, keeping the germs out. Verse 13 tells us how – by revering, respecting God’s Word. Have you ever heard “keep it clean,” when someone is straying from appropriate language to improper language? God calls us daily to guard our mouths and be careful what comes out of it.
This proverb is about correction, being teachable so let’s help our young people to bring a breath of fresh air and not pollution. Help them to choose sweet friends and not offensive ones. Encourage them to seek holiness, living lives that honor and bring God glory! How do your kids smell?