Saturday, May 12, 2018

How to Avoid the Root Canals of Life

No one in their right mind enjoys visiting the dentist's office. 


In the Word

I teach a Bible study at my work and thoroughly enjoy it. But teaching God's word requires much time spent in God's word. 

Being in God's word brings conviction of sin. It stings! So many times I think, Okay, this will be my last Bible study because I need a break. I have other things I need to do instead. 

And that's when the dentist office comes to mind...

Root Canals

I've had a root canal and it hurt. I had to have seven shots in my mouth before the doctor could begin work. Ouch! Because I had poor oral health as a child, I am reaping what I sowed today at age 51. 

I won't lie. Studying God's word does cause the sting of conviction. Just like a visit to the dentist, a normal person would want to avoid that pain, wouldn't they? 

Like when you feel that sting of pain when you brush your teeth. Uh oh! A visit to the dentist office might be required. 

No! I don't want to go because I just know the dentist will find...something wrong! That could mean a lot of  time and money spent, as well as, ultimately a lot of pain. Who needs that?

As a result, you just might stop brushing your teeth if it causes so much pain, right? Problem solved. And then what happens?

Instead of needing one root canal, now you'll need several. 

Is it worth it?

How to Avoid the Root Canals of Life

It's the same way with reading God's word. Yes, I spend hours each week preparing for the Bible study I teach at work. Sometimes what I read convicts me of my sin. And that leads to a time spent arguing with myself, rationalizing my actions, and then, finally, confessing that sin to God. That leads to repentance and PEACE in my soul.

I could set down my Bible, send an email to my attendees informing them that I will no longer teach, and then take a break from the pain of reading and teaching God's word. That's the easy thing to do, right? Who doesn't need a break once-in-a-while?

...but then instead of a few sins to confess, I will find myself with a soul full of many sins to confess. 

Sitting in that dentist's chair waiting for the root canals is terrifying for folks like me who HATE the dentist. But it is necessary, isn't it? Poor oral hygiene can lead to other health issues like heart trouble. How? The bacteria seeps into the blood stream and heads to all the other parts of the body, infecting everything. 

It's the same with sin in our lives.

It spreads and permeates all other parts of our lives. We begin to complain, covet, gossip, hate life, and despise others, until we become what we claim to despise most:

Ungrateful to God. 

Just Do It

As a runner, I need my heart to be in top condition! Good oral hygiene is a step in the right direction. We've all seen the Nike slogan, "Just Do It" right? Well, it's the same with reading God's word and teaching it. I need my soul to be in top condition if I am to teach God's word to others!

I need to stop avoiding it and just do it! Paul understood about the conviction of sin that comes from being in the presence of God's holiness:

2 Corinthians 7:10  "For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death."

Don't despise that sting of conviction. It is assurance of God's presence in your life. It is far better than worldly grief.

So, spend time today talking with God. 

In doing so, you're going to avoid those "root canals" and enjoy the joy of good spiritual hygiene of a life without regret. 

Your Turn: How much time do you spend alone with God? How do you handle that sting of conviction?