Cleanliness is next to godliness.

It seems that most of us translate this statement as "cleanliness is a form of godliness".

Well, maybe.  Maybe not.  

CLEANLINESSnoun

1. Freedom from dirt, filth, or any foul, extraneous matter.

2. Neatness of person or dress; purity.
(1828 Noah Webster's Dictionary)



Cleanliness and order can be synonymous, and 'order' can be defined as 'priorities'.  Proper priorities are definitely a form of godliness: sometimes 'proper priorities' means leaving a mess behind so I can focus on my children, or my neighbors, or my husband (not necessarily in that order).  And usually proper priorities means cleaning the SLOW way by teaching my children to do it.  It's easier, and cleaner much sooner, if I do it myself, but one of my God-given jobs is to train them.

In other words, I often have to choose between being godly and having cleanliness; and 

cleanliness is 

NEXT TO 

godliness.


 


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