“My breath is corrupt, my days are extinct, the graves are ready for me.”
Have you ever been around someone whose breath stinks? Sometimes a person’s breath stinks because they don’t brush their teeth, and the food that they have eaten produces a foul odor. There are others whose breath stinks because they have bad teeth, which affects their breath. We often say about people with bad breath that they have halitosis.
The verse above says, “My breath is corrupt…” God was not talking about someone having bad breath, but that their words were like someone with halitosis. Their words were words of hurt and destruction, which is a foul smell in the nostrils of God. Several types of words come to mind when I think of halitosis words.
First, mocking words are halitosis words. Job said in verse 2, “Are there not mockers with me?” The hurt that mocking people can cause is great. You may think that your mocking is a joke, but to the one being mocked, it can be like a piercing sword that pierces their heart. You must be careful that mocking people isn’t a part of your vocabulary. You don’t like it when people mock you, and you shouldn’t be guilty of mocking others.
Second, negative words are halitosis words. Negativity has destroyed many a cause. All it takes to destroy good is one negative person who speaks negatively about what is happening. You have to be careful that you don’t have such a negative outlook that it causes you to be negative about the good that God is doing. Negative words could diffuse the good being accomplished, causing many to go unreached because of the negative talker. Be careful that you don’t let negative words come from your mouth.
Third, deceptive words are halitosis words. Saying that you are going to do something and never following through has hurt many people from being able to do what needs to be done. My friend, telling someone that you might do something when you know you are not going to do it is simply a lie. At some point in your life, you must stop telling people that you might do something just because you don’t want to hurt them. Giving someone hopeful words when you know you are not going to follow through with what you told them will do more hurt in the end than if you would have told the truth at the beginning. At some point, you must have the fortitude to tell the truth instead of using deceptive words just to keep people happy.
Fourth, flattering words are halitosis words. One of the most damaging things that hurts God’s work is when someone won’t tell the truth about another person when asking for a reference. Flattering people when you know what you are saying about them is not true only keeps the person you are flattering from dealing with reality. There is a right way to be truthful with people that can help them without using flattery to camouflage their weaknesses.
Fifth, disparaging words are halitosis words. Belittling words towards others to make yourself look bigger only shows how small you really are. There is no place for belittling words in the mouth of the believer. If you don’t want people to despise you and what you say, you would be wise not to use belittling words, but instead, use encouraging words when you speak to others to build them.