I’m sure you’ve heard of the phrase ‘cleanliness is next to Godliness’. But have you ever given it much thought? It doesn’t really make much sense, does it?
I mean, what does being clean have to do with God? I’m sure He doesn’t care if we’re a bit grubby. Surely that must mean that He doesn’t like all those kids playing around in the park? And that doesn’t make sense. Who couldn’t love a grubby kid jumping in a puddle with mud on his face?
Either this phrase is a right load of nonsense, or we’re misinterpreting it.
So what else could they be referring to when it comes to cleanliness? (And who are ‘they’ anyway? The dudes who wrote the Bible? Your gran, who probably said it to you as a kid to try and get you to have a wash?) Whoever ‘they’ are, these old phrases usually have some kind of hidden wisdom, if we dig deep enough.
I think they might mean internal cleanliness. The kind of cleanliness you get when you eliminate unnatural processed foods and toxic products from your lifestyle.
I realise this might be a bit of a leap for some, so let me try to explain.
Since I began eating ‘real’ foods, drinking pure water, and using natural products on my skin, I’ve noticed that I am, in fact, more clean! No BO; no bad breath – my body seems to have the ability to keep itself smelling fine without any need for harsh chemicals.
While most people feel the need for deodorants, body sprays, minty toothpastes and mouthwash, many people following a rawfood diet report that they simply use a few natural products such as lemon juice and essential oils.
Now, if you haven’t ever experienced what it feels like to live a natural lifestyle, none of this might not make any sense to you. What difference does it make to our bodies what food we eat and what products we put on our skin and hair?
Well, here’s another old phrase to consider that might mean a lot more than you give it credit for – ‘you are what you eat’. And we don’t just eat what we put in our mouths. Our bodies absorb whatever we put on our skin too.
So, whatever we eat, or apply to our bodies, is taken in, assimilated, and utilised in the functions of the body. If you’re eating and drinking things like sweets, crisps and soda, then go and have a read of the ingredients and make up your own mind how efficiently you think they are going to make your body work.
So, there’s the cleanliness taken care of – now onto the Godliness bit.
Speaking from a purely experiential perspective, before I changed my lifestyle I often used to be consumed by negativity; feeling angry, pessimistic, and generally just not loving life very much.
I notice that I now, emotionally speaking, I usually feel extremely good in many ways – contented, calm, and just plain happy. Ok, sure, I don’t feel that way 100% of the time, because I’m human after all and Stuff Happens. Sometimes my computer won’t work and I want to throw it out the window. And anyway, floating about all peaceful all the time would be a bit boring.
But speaking in general, emotionally I typically experience a feeling of peace, optimism, gratitude and all-round love for life.
I wonder – could this be described as a feeling of Godliness? (I bet God’s computer never breaks. And even if it does I bet he has a brilliant IT team on hand).
Now, I realise that Godliness is a bit of a hard one to quantify. I’m pretty sure there aren’t any scientific studies out there that found ‘74% of people felt more Godly while following a rawfood diet’.
And of course, science could explain this away in many ways. It could all be written off as ‘placebo effect’. Or perhaps I just have allergies to gluten and msg. However they rationalise it, I don’t really care. Feeling Godly is awesome, whatever the explanation 😉