Dentists rank right up there with snakes on my “things I MOST dislike” list. And so when I started having some pain a couple of weeks ago, I kept hoping against hope that it would get better. Thankfully, I have a super dentist here whom I trust implicitly. She knows my sensitivity issues, is extremely patient and gentle, and so when the first course of action (taking antibiotics to knock out a suspected infection) didn’t work, she then consulted with the “crown specialist” to see if drilling out the old filling and putting on a temporary crown would do the trick.
Nope. Didn’t work.
Which meant a root canal. YIKES!!!
Thankfully, the “root canal guy” was extremely attentive to his hyper patient — at the slightest flinch he shot me up with more painkiller — and so I was able to endure the treatment… and it was successful.
This “adventure” got me thinking about sin. Crazy, right?!? But stick with me…
Sin is anything that hinders us from having a right relationship with God. It can be an inward, unexpressed attitude (thought) or an outward, deliberate act. It often manifests itself with being more interested in “me” than others. It skews our thinking, destroys relationships. It masquerades as being rational, tolerant. It often looks good and inviting, and yet results in death… spiritual death (severing our relationship with God) and eventually physical death.
The only way to deal with sin is to root it out… to not ignore the warning signs, pangs of conscience. Left “untreated” — like the tooth pain I was trying desperately to ignore — sin is disastrous.
I wonder how often God nudges me about a poor attitude that I have… and I rationalize, put off dealing with it? How often my words, spoken in the heat of the moment, have scarred a relationship? How my impatience and unrealistic expectations have distorted how I view myself and others? How… ??? The list goes on and on.
The endodontist (“root canal guy”) knew that in order to rid my tooth of any further chance of infection he would have to do some pretty serious digging (drilling) and cleaning. He balanced his concern for my comfort with the necessity of doing a thorough job. He didn’t quit until he was convinced the root was clean.
God is like that, too. Sometimes, as He’s “digging” around, exposing sin in our lives, it hurts. We may want to avoid dealing with whatever the issue is. We may rant and rave and bad mouth Him… but He’s boldly, gently balancing His commitment to eradicating anything that hinders our relationship with Him with His love for us. He knows what pain is all about — after all, His only Son died a brutal death so that you and I can have a relationship with Him.
And ultimately, that’s how we can have joy in the journey of this thing called “Life.”