Cleanliness is Next to Godliness Essay

The phrase ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’ was first used by John Wesley in 1778. He was an English cleric who referred to the phrase in a sermon. His sole intention was to convey to the masses that the habit of keeping clean is as equal to godliness.

Short and Long Essay on Cleanliness is Next to Godliness in English

Find here some essays describing the fact ‘Cleanliness is Next to Godliness’ in short as well as in detail:

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness Essay 10 Lines (100 – 150 Words)

1) In 1778, this famous proverb was used by John Wesley for the first time.

2) This phrase depicts the importance of cleanliness in our life.

3) Clean body and surroundings create positivity and keep us closer to God.

4) Our concentration and spirituality are enhanced by cleanliness.

5) A clean environment gives us healthy and fit living.

6) Cleanliness saves us from various dangerous diseases.

7) Unhygienic activities are the major contributor to death rates.

8) Cleanliness is not limited to the body it also refers to cleaning your soul and thoughts.

9) It encourages people to adopt clean and healthy habits.

10) Generating awareness among people regarding the need for cleanliness is important.

Meaning of ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’ – Essay 1 (250 Words)


The phrase ‘Cleanliness is next to godliness’ is probably being used since 1778, when it was first quoted by an English cleric. It was meant to instill a habit of cleanliness in the people.

Meaning of Cleanliness is next to Godliness

The phrase ‘Cleanliness is next to godliness’ stresses on the need for cleanliness in humans. It promotes the adoption of clean habits and hygiene by the people by equating it with godliness.

The dictionary describes godliness as the quality of being devoutly religious. Therefore, the phrase implies that the habit of cleanliness should be as devotedly followed as the religion.

However, this doesn’t mean that the religion mandates cleanliness; rather it is advisable to adopt cleanliness as it is a symbol of religious piousness. It is no harm to be clean; rather it helps us in several ways.

In a broader perspective, the phrase also refers to the cleanliness of soul or the purity of mind. It is worth to have a purity of thought and intention in life as one display while following religious obligations. The purity of thought is what appeals most to the god that the worship itself. A clean mind and clean body are the qualities that the god desires in his disciples; though, certainly he doesn’t disowns those who don’t have these qualities, but still it is preferred.


The phrase was introduced wisely to instill a sense of cleanliness in humans. This was the reason why it was integrated with godliness. It was an effort to put cleanliness as a moral obligation on mankind for cleanliness.

Benefits of Cleanliness – Essay 2 (400 Words)


‘Cleanliness is next to godliness’ is a proverb that promotes cleanliness as an act of godliness. It states that any person should follow a clean habit and hygiene with the same devotion as he/she follows the religion.

Benefits of Cleanliness

Cleanliness in life is very important to pursue. The habit of cleanliness has several benefits on a person’s life. Cleanliness keeps us free from germs and disease. A person who devotedly practices cleanliness and adapts a neat hygiene level never falls ill, and always stays fit and healthy.

It also works wonders on the social aspects related to a person. Such a person is always respected in society and admired for his/her cleanliness. People state examples of his/her habits and they become ideals for others to follow.

A clean person not only keeps himself clean but also instills good quality into the family members, friends, relatives, etc. Such a person spreads the habit of cleanliness to the others who come in contact.

Also, a person who practices cleanliness is bound to keep the environment clean as well. Such a person is least likely to litter in public places and always dispose of the garbage in dust bins. He/she also ensures that no harm is done to the environment on their behest.

Justice to the Phrase

There are several things we could do to stay clean and do complete justice to the proverb ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’. We must keep in mind that our commitment to cleanliness must be the same as our commitment to religious beliefs and ethos.

That is we must as devotedly follow cleanliness as we follow our religious rituals. In other words, there is a need to integrate the same passion in following cleanliness that we display in the following religion.

There are several ways to do justice to the phrase. Adopting a daily routine for physical cleaning is one of them. Also, we must keep our clothes clean and the house of course. We also must take care to keep the environment clean as well. A clean person makes way for a clean society and a clean environment.


The phrase ‘Cleanliness is next to godliness’ is an ancient thought by English cleric John Wesley. Through this phrase; Wesley, tried to put an obligation for cleanliness on humans. Though no religious epic mandates cleanliness, but still, there is a moral obligation the human race to maintain cleanliness.

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness Essay

Origin and Moral of ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’ – Essay 3 (500 – 600 Words)


‘Cleanliness is next to godliness’ is an ancient proverb that equates the habit of cleanliness with being devotedly religious. That is, being clean is like a religious obligation and must be dealt with the same devotion.

Origin of the Phrase

Ancient Babylonian and Hebrew religions have references equating physical cleanliness with the purity of spirit. The earliest exact reference to the phrase ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’, is made by an English cleric and theologian, John Wesley in 1778, during one of his sermons named ‘on dress’.

In the Para 5 of his sermon ‘On Dress’ Wesley mentions the exact phrase:

“But, before we enter on the subject, let it be observed, that slovenliness is not part of religion; that neither this, nor any text of Scripture, condemns neatness of apparel. Certainly, this is a duty, not a sin. ‘Cleanliness is, indeed, next to godliness’.”

What the Phrase Implies

In the first line of the sermon stated above, Wesley states that slovenliness or untidiness isn’t to be accepted as a part of the religion. That is any religious proceeding must be carried out neatly and by persons with neat and hygienic appearance; though the requirement isn’t obligatory. It doesn’t mean that an untidy person has no right to pray or worship, but certainly, it is the duty of humankind to observe cleanliness in every aspect of life.

Cleanliness refers to the state of being physically clean, that is, keeping your body cleans with all respect. It also refers to keeping ones surroundings clean and having accountability towards the cleanliness of the environment. Godliness, on the other hand, refers to the devotion to God. Therefore, the phrase in ‘Cleanliness is next to godliness’ implies that we should make cleanliness a habit and also be devoted to it the same way as we are devoted to god.

The phrase certainly encourages one to adopt clean habits and hygiene, with the same commitment as one portrays towards God and religion.

A Moral Obligation

The phrase pushes a moral obligation on the people to keep their surroundings and self clean. People belonging to every faith around the world are devotedly honest towards their particular religion and faith. The phrase cleverly integrates cleanliness into religious sentiments, making the former an obligation on the people.

It is very evident that if something is compelled on the people by their religion then they are bound to follow it. The phrase ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’ very cleverly sends a message to the people that if they take pride in their religious devotion then they also must adopt to cleanliness and good hygiene.

In other words, religious devotion can only be complete if it is carried out neatly and adopting to neat habits and in a neat and clean environment.

The phrase also put an obligation on the people for maintaining personal hygiene and also keeping their personal belongings and environment clean. In a broader perspective the phrase also refers to the neatness in areas beyond physical self, that is the room, the house, and the society, etc. One shouldn’t only keep his/her body clean but also take steps to make the environment clean as well.


The phrase ‘Cleanliness is next to godliness’ is significant considering today’s context. Today, the world is suffering from pollution and its effects. The phrase teaches us to be neat and clean ourselves but also to keep our environment clean. It is very important that we all must understand the importance of the phrase and give cleanliness in our lives, the place it deserves. Cleanliness should be made a habit, whether you are religiously devoted or otherwise.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

Q.1 What does the term WASH stand for?

Ans. The term WASH stands for Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene.

Q.2 What percentage of the population in the world is devoid of basic hand washing facilities?

Ans. It is reported by United Nation that about 40% of the population of the world is devoid of basic handwashing facilities.

Q.3 What did Mahatma Gandhi say about cleanliness?

Ans. Mahatma Gandhi said that cleanliness is essential for good health and a clean environment.

Q.4 When is world Cleanup day celebrated?

Ans. World cleanup day is celebrated every year on the 3rd Saturday of September.

Q.5 What are the positive effects of cleanliness?

Ans. Cleanliness helps us in becoming healthy and leading a happy life.

Q.6 How does cleanliness help in studies?

Ans. Cleanliness saves us from falling ill and therefore we can study properly and bring good results.

Related information:

Essay on Mahatma Gandhi

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