Confession time again. Dental health workers please do not hold this against me. I am not an example for dental health practices. Do not try this at home. I do not floss. I hate to floss. I promise I have tried. I find it time-consuming and uncomfortable. Instead of flossing, I have found that mouth wash does the trick. It keeps my gums healthy, and I don’t have to do the tedious, and sometimes painful work of flossing.
Unfortunately that is how I can approach sin in my life. Maybe you do it too. At times I say a blanket, “God for give me for my sin” prayer. Nothing specific. Nothing examined. Just God forgive me. That is like shoving my mouth full of mouth mouthwash, in hopes that it dislodges the huge piece of broccoli stuck between my teeth. Then walking away without checking the mirror. I have even heard myself tell God, “I know I won’t be perfect today so please forgive me for sin I am going to commit.” That is like expecting the mouthwash I swished and spit in the morning will keep my teeth clear of debris all day.
Much like our teeth need to be examined after eating a large salad, so our lives need to be examined. God doesn’t want us living on auto-pilot, not even realizing when we sin or offend. David had it right when in Psalm 139:23-24 he says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” This examination and searching is often painful. Sin festers, like infected gums, when left in dark places of our hearts. Mouthwash may clean around the area, but it won’t dislodge sin stuck fast. Especially, the sin to which we hold fast.
My husband recently informed me, that the current recommendation is that you floss at least twice a day. WHOA! What would happen if we devoted the same amount of time to examining our lives? What would happen if twice a day, every day we did a sin check-up? What would God do with a people devoted to asking Him to show them their sin? We may actually repent and truly turn from our wicked ways. We may actually live in the victory that Jesus wrought, when He died on the cross. We may live in such a way that others want to know about God. Jesus did say He came to give us abundant life (John 10:10). Maybe through examining our lives we could really live that out day-to-day.
However, we must first get over ourselves, our pride, and sometimes our laziness and do it. We are not to examine our lives compared to others around us, mind you. Otherwise we will be like the Pharisee who prayed that he was glad he wasn’t like that tax collector. (Luke 18:9-14) NO, our example is Christ. The one without sin (Hebrews 4:15). May we, like David, ask God to show us our sin, then repent. May we look to Christ, our example, and pray that, through the Holy Spirit, we can confess and repent from sin that entangles us. (Hebrews 12:1)
Father, forgive me for attempting to mouthwash my sin, instead of examining my life and truly confessing it. Lord may I be specific in confessing sin to you and to others I have offended. Lord search me, and show me if there is unconfessed sin in my life. When you reveal my sin, give me the wisdom and strength to confess it, and turn away from it. You alone are holy and You LOVE ME! Thank You for loving a wretched sinner like me. Thank You for the forgiveness I have through Christ. Thank You for the victory I have in Jesus. Amen.
So have you flossed today?