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Deep Cleaning

Have you ever put off going to the dentist? Who hasn’t! Don finally went in last week after a several year absence. Blame it on not having dental insurance, being too busy, or just not thinking of it at an appropriate time. Now he’s wishing he’d gone in like he should have. By the way, I have his permission to share this with you :)

So what’s the result of a “vacation” from dental care? More visits back to the dentist unfortunately. He has two cavities and needs periodontal scaling and root planing done (technical jargon for a deep cleaning procedure). The way I understand it, when you don’t have your teeth cleaned regularly, tartar and “debris” (yuck!) build up and push down between your gums and teeth. Eventually you’ll either need this deep-cleaning procedure done or face the prospect of periodontal disease. Translation? Your teeth could fall out!

So now Don has three more appointments on the calendar. He decided he wants to keep his teeth :) Since he basically has had healthy strong teeth throughout his life, it’s been a long time since he’s had to endure anything more uncomfortable than a routine cleaning. What’s in store for him now certainly won’t be fun — but don’t tell him that!

You know what else can build up and cause us problems if we don’t take care of it as we should? There are probably many answers to that question, but the one that springs to my mind is sin. Yep. Sin. If we fail to deal with sin, soon one has a way of leading to another and then to another, etc. Or we might even harden our hearts to the voice of God so we don’t have to root out the sin that He’s trying to speak to us about. Before we know it, we are avoiding Him and trying to do things our own way. And we all know what a mess that can lead to.

The Bible tells us that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 KJV) Problem is, sometimes we just don’t come to Him for that cleansing. By the time we are finally ready to turn from our sin and ask for the forgiveness He offers so freely — and is so freeing — a deep cleaning, just like at the dentist, is needed. And this deep cleaning will probably not be much fun either.

It can be hard to fess up, there can be consequences, and sometimes wrongs need to be made right. Remember, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11).

My advice? Don’t let things build up — whether it’s plaque on your teeth or sin in your life. It’s so much easier to deal with things early on. By the way, it’s been almost 16 months since I’ve been to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned. I now have an appointment at the end of the month. Who do you need an appointment with? God’s calendar is wide open.

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