Admit it. You’ve had bad breath before. In fact, you may even have bad breath right now. Have you ever done the self-breath test? You know, where you kind of cup your hand between your mouth and your nose, then breath out of your mouth and then quickly in through your nose. I’m not really sure it works, though. (Wait, you just tried it, didn’t you?) The problem is, there really isn’t another way to find out if your breath stinks. I guess you could ask a brave friend. Maybe your spouse if you want to take a chance on not being kissed for a while. Bad breath: it stinks.
Which makes me think. We are made in God’s image. So does He ever have bad breath? Of course not! I mean, we know He has breath of some sort. But it’s certainly not bad breath. He has never had to do the weird mouth-nose cup thingy. It’s always good breath. It’s breath with a purpose! In fact, 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Yes, God’s breath has purpose. It is intentional. It is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training. It is life giving. That’s a lot more than I can say about mine. But what if instead of thinking about my breath in terms of smell, I begin to think of it in terms of purpose. Am I wasting my breath? Am I using it for good? Or do I waste my words on useless things like complaining? Do I sin with my breath by gossiping? Jesus said in John 12:49 I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. And Peter wrote in 1 Peter 4:11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. So where does that leave me?
How am I using my breath? Am I using my breath to encourage? Am I using my breath to share the love of Christ? Am I using it to build my relationships or tear them down? Is my breath really useful? I know this: it is supposed to be. The God with “always good breath” has called me to reflect Him in all that I do. So that means I must have good breath, too. So break out the holy breath mints, friends! And let’s start breathing life into the world around us.