Cleanliness Brings Honor to God
1 One of the outstanding features of the Mosaic law was its requirements regarding cleanliness. It set the nation of Israel apart as a people who, to worship their God properly, were to keep themselves physically and spiritually clean. (Ex. 30:17-21; Lev. 11:35, 36; 15:1-11; Isa. 52:11) As long as the laws were faithfully observed, the clean condition brought honor to God and contributed to the healthiness of the nation.
2 Today, too, cleanliness is a mark of Jehovah’s people. Many an auditorium manager has remarked that his building was cleaner after Jehovah’s witnesses had an assembly there than ever before. But, while cleanliness identifies Jehovah’s people as a group, is it true of each one of us individually? Whether we are one of the many new ones associated with the congregation, whether we are young or old, our concern for neatness and cleanliness reflects our appreciation for Jehovah’s Word.
3 Let’s look first at our homes. We do not want them to detract from the grand message we bear, do we? It would really seem inconsistent on our part to preach to our neighbors about our future work of transforming this earth into a global paradise park, if, for example, we had a yard with unmended fences where the weeds grew profusely and it was always filled with discarded tires, broken toys and other items. Or, if when a person enters our home he is met by disagreeable odors due to lack of cleanliness, or he views a generally disorderly condition, he may feel we do not fully respect God’s view on cleanliness. Money is not essential to being clean and orderly, but time and effort are.
4 And what about the automobile that we use for field service? Is it reasonably clean inside and out? Do we periodically clean our car as we should our home so that its appearance does not reflect unfavorably on the importance of the Kingdom message?
5 Perhaps, too, it would not be amiss to give thought to ourselves and our clothing. Are we neat and clean, so that we are not offensive to others? Reasonable cleanliness and hygiene can be maintained by moderate but regular washing of ourselves and our clothing.
6 But what if there is a case where a publisher is careless, becoming very dirty as to clothing, person or home, so that it really brings reproach on Jehovah and the congregation? Perhaps it is a person who, because of old age, simply needs some loving assistance to care for such things. Or perhaps the person is not aware of how he appears to others. Elders can tactfully counsel such ones, being careful not to impose arbitrary standards of cleanliness or dress on the brothers. Whether our clothing is old or new, we can be neat and clean so that when we give a witness people will pay attention to the message, not to our appearance.
7 Our Kingdom Halls are filled with newly interested people who have been invited to enjoy the spiritual feasts that are provided there. In most cases there is no reluctance about inviting an interested person to them, because they are so attractive and neat. It takes work, though, to keep them that way. As you look around your Kingdom Hall, are the walls, floor and chairs clean? Are rest rooms cleaned regularly? Can you say that you have contributed to this by helping out when it was your turn to share in the cleaning or refinishing of the Kingdom Hall? When we are in a building such as our own home or the Kingdom Hall often, we may not be inclined to note that walls are smudged or the paint is peeling, but others coming in for the first time may note these things and wonder whether their hosts are really concerned about the place to which they have invited them.
8 Without a word being spoken, we can do much to glorify God by maintaining a neat, clean personal appearance and by keeping our homes, cars and Kingdom Halls neat and clean, too. In this way we will give no cause for stumbling to those to whom we preach in the community. And our manner of life will serve as a living sermon that we are Jehovah’s dedicated people, thus contributing to his praise and honor.—2 Cor. 7:1.
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Cleanliness Brings Honor to God.