By now most of you have realized the worst part about wearing a face mask; you can smell how bad your own breath is!
Most of the time, we aren’t aware of our halitosis. We have no idea what other people go through when leaning into speak with us. Now we are in the unique position of smelling what we have been breathing out onto other people. I’m sure that sales of breath mints and gum must be going up.
It’s an opportunity to consider something else that comes out of our mouth without us much thinking about it; our words. Some people have spiritual halitosis and the evidence is in the words they speak which are often offensive, ugly and mean. We are encouraged to consider our speech lest it stirs up strife, jealously or hatred. It’s possible to be breathing in good clean air and yet breathe out evil towards others.
Jesus said, “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. (Matthew 12:33-35)
I don’t think there is a mask available to catch our words but we can watch out for what we are putting in our spirits. When we pray, “Lord, give us clean hearts” it also leads to life-giving speech rather than all that bad breath.