We all need to practice good hygiene. Being around a person that doesn’t brush their teeth or wear deodorant can be unpleasant. You have probably been taught that “cleanliness is next to godliness.” Many are surprised to learn that this phrase does not actually appear in the Bible.

That is not an excuse to practice poor hygiene; in truth, good hygiene is next to godliness, just not in the way you might be thinking. When Paul wrote to Pastor Titus, he instructed him, “But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine (2:1).”

The word that is translated as sound gives us the English word hygiene, and it literally means “to have sound health; to be well or uncorrupted.” Paul utilized this adjective to describe the kind of doctrine Titus should preach—that which is uncorrupted by error and therefore in sound health. Titus needed good hygiene in the pulpit.

We have too many people entering the pulpits with poor hygiene. I don’t mean their nails are unclipped and their hair is uncut. I mean they do not rightly divide the Word of God. They preach heresy, a corrupted message of man. Or else they preach opinions. Some try to be cool, so they do not preach at all, using the world to entertain rather than using the Gospel to convert souls.

We have too many Christians with poor hygiene. Worse than a slob with no bath is a saint with no Bible. Your pastor alone cannot keep you clean. If you want good hygiene, you must daily open God’s Word and allow His truth to cleanse your soul.

Cleanliness is next to godliness because God wants us to practice good hygiene. We need sound doctrine. If you are able to smell yourself, maybe you need to grab a bar of soap and get clean. Make good hygiene a part of your daily Christian life.