I have a bad habit, well I have many bad habits, but one of the worse ones (according to my wife) is that I allegedly chew food with my mouth open. I don’t know how many times she has brought this to my attention, but it has been more than a couple of times. Just the other day, I was eating my meal peacefully, when all of the sudden I heard a shrilling scream:

                “CLOSE YOUR MOUTH PLEEEEASE!

                In my defense, I don’t even realize when I am chewing with my mouth open. I notice this in other people eating around me, but I have no way of detecting this abominable behavior in my own life. I am not denying the fact that I do it; I just don’t notice it. One thing that I have noticed, however, is that when I do make a conscious effort to eat with my mouth closed, I feel very uncomfortable and the food doesn’t taste as good anymore.

                The reason that I and everyone else need to chew food with our mouths closed is mainly so that we don’t offend the people around us. You might feel comfortable and the food will taste better in your open mouth (it is a fact!), but those near you will be disgusted by the sights and sounds.

                And so, many of us refrain from chewing with our mouths open. We also do this when it comes to sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. We do not want to offend others or to be offended by their apathy, mockery or insults.

                Perhaps we need to close our mouths at the dinner table when we are eating, but we need to pray that God will open our mouths to proclaim the Gospel to everyone around us. I know that the sound of our preaching is more disgusting than our food chewing to unbelievers, but we must continue to preach the truth in love.

                Open your mouth brother or sister. Declare your love for God openly to the whole world. I know this is a very scary thing to do for anyone. Moses didn’t want to do it (Genesis 4); Jonah didn’t want to do it (Jonah 1); Jeremiah didn’t want to do it (Jeremiah 20) and many others.

                Chewing food with our mouths open might be annoying to others and embarrassing for us, but proclaiming that Jesus is our Lord and Savior is the best thing we can do with our mouths. There have been many believers throughout the ages that were ashamed of being saved by grace, but not Paul. He testified in Romans 1:16,

                 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”

                I need to close my mouth more when I eat, but all of us must open our mouths to praise God, preach the Gospel and proclaim that Jesus is coming soon.

                A. G.

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