Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Why I Stopped Brushing My Teeth

About three years ago I stopped brushing my teeth. It wasn't a conscious decision; it just happened slowly over time. I kind of lost interest. It's a lot of work. I'm really busy. I don't really see how brushing helps me in any way.

I stopped going to the dentist, too. He just made me feel bad. He reminded me that he thought it was important for me to brush my teeth at least twice a day, preferably more. I guess it works for him, but it's just not for me. I'm doing fine without it.

I'm pretty sure my friends don't notice. After all, how can my own decision hurt anyone else, especially if it's not hurting me?

If you ask me one-on-one, I will admit to you that I sort-of think tooth brushing is important. I own a couple of toothbrushes, stored conveniently in my bathroom. I know how to brush; I just don't want to. It's not that important to my own life.

I do make my kids brush their teeth. When I talk about it with them, they think I brush my teeth all the time. I'm sure they can't tell that I don't.

Yes, this line of thinking sounds ludicrous. But have we used similar excuses about reading the Bible?

(P.S. - I brush my teeth regularly, AND I read my Bible regularly.  Both are vital in my life!)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Are We Listening?

In 2 Chronicles 36 we read about the result of Israel's long-term, nation-wide disobedience to the Lord.  Verses 15-16 contain a summary statement:

"The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent persistently to them by his messengers, because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place.  But they kept mocking the messengers of God, despising his words and scoffing at his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD rose against his people, until there was no remedy."

At this point the nation was conquered and the survivors were taken into captivity in Babylon for 70 years.  

I shiver as I read this pronouncement, and I find myself asking, "How well do I listen to the LORD?"  Today we don't have prophets - we have God's Word, the Bible, a permanent written record of God's messages to His people.  Am I listening to Him through daily reading His Word and being sensitive to the leading of His Holy Spirit?  Am I paying attention to the wise counsel of God-honoring teachers and leaders?  Even more than listening - am I putting it into practice?

Or am I basically "mocking the messengers and scoffing at the prophets"?  *Shiver*

As for me and my house, we will listen to and follow God's Holy Word.  We will build our lives around what He has told us to do, obeying Him to the best of our ability, and asking for His forgiveness when we fail.  We will listen to those who faithfully teach His Word, and consider carefully the wise counsel of others who likewise seek to follow the Lord faithfully.

Will you do the same?