“You Probably Need More Than Covering Your Mouth!”
By Pastor Ron Buxton
Well, it’s that time again. The CDC is already cautioning folks to get their yearly vaccinations in anticipation of another flu season. For many, it is the dreaded sore shoulder for a few days following that injection. And, for others, it means even better hygiene standards (if that’s possible) to avoid further sicknesses during this pandemic. Certainly, it reminds us all–once again—of the deadly viruses that circulate all around us in this world.
Most transmittable diseases, while very contagious, can be averted by something as practical as covering your mouth when you cough. And that’s where I’m going in this article today. You see, some diseases can be stopped just by covering your mouth. This is particularly true concerning the outward coughs that occur during the cold and flu season. But this also applies to what enters your oral cavity. And I will discuss that below.
It’s now been 20 years but what I experienced in Guatemala I would not wish upon my worst enemy. Having spent half a decade in Central America as a missionary, I felt like I was entirely acclimated to that region. How wrong I was. Hepatitis A which is a food-borne illness almost killed me! Quickly I became jaundiced and experienced heavy bouts of nausea and fever. And, frankly, I thought that it was Malaria because there are so many disease-carrying mosquitoes there. But no. It was Hepatitis A and some of my bodily functions confirmed that. However, to make matters worse, I was also several hundred miles away from any kind of medical attention.
Allow me to gross you out for a few sentences. You see, Hepatitis A arrives as a fecal-oral transmission to its victims. Somebody didn’t wash their hands after using the restroom. Thus, it was probably one of the street vendors that I often purchased food from. However, that disease is so common there that almost all children get it with little discomfort. Not the case for a full-grown gringo!
Now allow me to make a spiritual application here. Gossip is a similar disease. What? Hear me out now. It’s actually just the “reverse transmission” of Hepatitis A. That is, with gossip it is what comes OUT of your mouth that is contaminated. And it’s worse than feces! Filthier, in fact, in the eyes of God than what happened to me in the jungles of Guatemala.
If you’d be completely honest before God, you probably need to do more than just cover your mouth. Truth be told, gossip is worse than feces! But thank God—- there is a remedy! The Bible tells us that God can decontaminate our mouths by purifying our hearts. You see, you need a supernatural decontamination! We all do. And that’s why Christ came. For God’s sake–and for that of public safety—surrender your mouth and heart to Jesus Christ!