I’m a big fan of brushing teeth.
To be fair, unless you are under the age of 5, I would say most people are in favour of clean teeth and fresh breath.
One of the (many) things my mother taught me well was the necessity of brushing my teeth and then when that was finished, flossing.
You see, brushing only goes so far.
We can brush, check the mirror, heave a sigh of approval, and walk out of the bathroom trailing fresh breath behind us….whilst evil, cavity creating trespassers remain secretly hidden between molars and incisors.
All because we didn’t floss.
In life we can attend church, enjoy worship, read a bit of scripture, and feel great about our relationship with God…yet carry on with hidden sin we refuse to remove.
Psalm 51:1 in the King James Version says, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Simple. Direct. Honest.
I also like The Message version, verses 1-15, which details the process a bit more:
Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean,
scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.
Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,
set these once-broken bones to dancing.
Don’t look too close for blemishes,
give me a clean bill of health.
God, make a fresh start in me,
shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don’t throw me out with the trash,
or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from gray exile,
put a fresh wind in my sails!
Give me a job teaching rebels your ways
so the lost can find their way home.
Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God,
and I’ll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.
Unbutton my lips, dear God;
I’ll let loose with your praise.
I especially like the bit which says ‘shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life…’
You may feel like that right now. Life is full of chaos beneath the polished surface, yet only you and your grace-filled, omniscient God know the truth.
You need flossing.
Similar to flossing – it’s not complicated and you can start today.
You simply need intentionality in removing anything which isn’t bringing health to your spiritual life.
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal anything you cannot see, then choose to remove it.
Go ahead — ask Him now!
We don’t need daily visits to the dental hygienist and we don’t need deep navel-gazing introspection everyday. Instead we need to take a moment and ask God if there is anything He would prefer not having hidden behind a dark corner in our lives. And if so, confess it (floss) and move on.
Not only will you have pearly whites in the natural, but you’ll be living purely white in the spiritual.
And that – is something to smile about.