Wisdom Teeth September 2018
My poor dentist has to work so hard at cleaning the tartar off my teeth. For the next week (after my visit,) I floss twice per day and brush really well. I want to have a sustainably-clean mouth. Then my little lazy voice starts talking to me. “It’s six months until your next visit. No one will know if you skip the flossing tonight. You’re too tired. It’s too late, and you need your rest.”
After another two weeks the voice pipes up again, “You’re late to work. You don’t have time to brush. You’ve been eating soft food so just rinse with mouthwash and go. There, you smell fine and minty.”
By the end of the month I’m just brushing in the morning. Three months on and I just use mouthwash, which “kills 99% of the germs” so they say. The minty layer of the tartar is building up.
Our sins are the same way. We are confronted with the reality and then quickly justify them. The little voice of gluttony says, “You need some carbs, so get the big bag of chips. You can work it off at the gym. You have to keep your strength up. He made you angry, and this is your comfort food.“ The voice of fantasy says, “I’ll just finish this game at my desk; the boss will never know.” The voice of adultery says, “It’s not really pornography. It’s just a way to relax because I work hard and deserve a little time off to myself.” The voice of greed says, “It’s only a hundred dollars from petty cash, and I am going to repay it when I get my check. I’m not a murderer, and I’m underpaid. The company can afford an extra thousand.”
Before you know it, the next appointment for cleaning comes up. Your dentist knows. The tartar is there. You can see the consequences that come out of the temptations you couldn’t push away from. It is a little creepy to imagine your dentist standing in your bathroom with you, but you can just hear her saying, “Don’t forget to floss in that tight space.” If the dentist comments on these small imperfections in the mouth, what would God say about what you’ve done? When you ask Him into your life, guess where he goes? Yep, into your life. Your dentist knows and God knows too.