* Brush * Swish * Rinse * (Don't Repeat)

“Your teeth are soft and are calcified,” said the dental therapist to my child. My child and I gulped, both of us holding back the tears. How could this happen? We brush, we floss, we use mouthwash. How could that not be enough? Defeat and failure crossed both of our minds.

Since that dental appointment, I have told this child to brush harder, I got new toothpaste, loads of floss and mouthwash. I have told this child to brush harder and longer. Stressed about the outcomes of the dental visit and future dental visits, this child has brushed to the point of bleeding. We have had months of worry, and what ifs and if onlys. We didn’t do enough; we should of been brushing far more than we were doing; we should of watched!! Maybe we had too much candy? Oh, the regret and shame.

The look of fear came across the face of this child when I said it was time for the dentist today. Tears welling up in the eyes of my child as my husband got ready to go to the dentist.


But as the dentist was talking to this kid, she said, "There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING you could of done to reverse what happened to your teeth. When you were young, you were sick when your teeth were forming, and they came in unhealthy.”

Words of life.

Did this change the status of the teeth? Did this change all the work that is ahead? Absolutely not, but it changed the status of this child. THIS WAS THE GREATEST NEWS!

Our kids teeth is like our heart condition. We could “brush and brush,” “lay off the candy,” “floss until the gums bleed,” and “rinse with jugs of mouthwash” with good works and kind deeds.

But all this is just "self-salvation projects" as Tullian Tchividjian calls them. It does not change a heart that is completely dead in sin. We are all born sinners – born with a bend towards self, we are all born rejecting God and His authority in our lives. We all scream, stomp our feet, and want to prove that we can save ourselves. We will find the "cure-all" for the rot that is happening in our hearts. Maybe if I am just a little nicer at work, a little more thankful, maybe if I could smile more, eat healthier, sleep more, make more time for me. Brush, brush, rinse, rinse, floss, floss.

The truth of it is that we are still very broken and very needy. As my kids’ teeth are in need of a dentist expertise, who will pull out the rotten teeth and add in replacements? We are the same. We need a rescuer (Jesus) that was sent by God to live the perfect life that I cannot live (but trying so hard to do) and die the death that I should of died in order for Him to exchange our hearts for a new one – one that is completely covered by HIS love, forgiveness and HIS perfect record. As we can STOP trying to recover these teeth and trust our kind, knowledgable dentist, so can you stop trying to recover your dead and dark heart. So STOP trying so reverse your rotten heart!! Trust in the master Dentist!

I got great news today.

Psalm 51:5, "Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me."

Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast."

Psalm 68:20, "Our God is a God who saves! The Sovereign LORD rescues us from death."

Sharon AllenComment