Which Tooth Should I Floss?

As I waited for the dental hygienist, I noticed a plaque stuck on the X-ray machine by me which read--

The message is very clear!  How many teeth do their patients who sit in that chair and read the subtle message want to keep?  All of them, of course.  As I waited, my mind wandered to a spiritual place that said:  You don’t have to submit all your life to God, only the part you want Him to bless.

It’s not hard to be submissive when you are looking up at the bottom of your life.  It’s not hard when you’ve no place to turn; you’ve tried all the obvious paths and they all lead to a dead end.  By that time, you may have developed “caries” that will take more than a “hygienist” to clean the surface.  It may require the “doctor” to grind away the decay, treat the cavity and fill it so it is useful again.

Which tooth do you want to floss?  Which area of your life do you want to preserve?  Your character, your livelihood, your spouse, your children, your friends, your relationship with God?  Which one can you afford to neglect so that it develops decay?  Which one do you place so little value on that you would not mind having a “root canal,” leaving it dead and insensitive?

When I considered the options, I decided that all my teeth needed to be flossed.  At this stage in life, any one of them lost can only be replaced by insensitive, unfeeling artificial substitutes.  We might not realize just how important a relationship is until we have lost it, and sometimes it cannot be recovered.  If we become neglectful in any area of our life, we can become as insensitive to it as a tooth with a root canal that has had its nerve severed and removed because it has died.

Relationships have to nurtured and maintained if they are to survive.  Admittedly, some require more “maintenance” than others; some might even need to be nurtured at a greater distance that we would prefer, but “as much as lies within our power” we supply the necessary nutrition for their survival.

“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18).

All we can do is “brush and floss” each area of our life, keep our heart sensitive to God’s will for the relationships and be willing to do “all that lieth in us.”  If our efforts fail, then we can give it to God and keep our heart soft while God deals with it.  We don’t want to have a “root-canal” severance and develop a dead insensitive heart.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).

Nobody ever said it would easy!  We have an adversary, the devil, who will distract us hoping we will forget to floss a part that is vital.  He wants to infect it so decay will begin while we are looking the other way.  The only safe thing to do is “floss every tooth.”  There is nothing in our lives that God is indifferent about.  He is aware of and cares about every little thing about us.  Nothing is too small or too large that He does not want to be involved and a part of.  It won’t bother or annoy Him when we bring the most seemingly insignificant thing to His attention for His input.   

Not a day goes by, not an incident happens that escapes His watchful eye.  While He is expectant that we will keep our relationship with Him flossed, polished and healthy, He is also concerned about every area of our lives.  He wants the very best for us.  Do you know why?  Because He loves us!


“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power, for thou has created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11).


We were created “for His pleasure”!



Cleanse Me

J Edwin Orr, 1936

(Music playing)

Search me O God and know my heart today;
Try me, O Lord, and know my thoughts I pray:
See if there be some wicked way in me,
Cleanse me from every sin and set me free.

I praise Thee, Lord, for cleansing me from sin;
Fulfil Thy Word, and make pure within;
Fill me with fire, where once I burned with shame
Grant my desire to magnify Thy name.

Lord, take my life, and make it wholly Thine;
Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine;
Take all my will, my passion, self and pride;
I now surrender- Lord, in me abide.

O Holy Ghost, revival comes from Thee;
Send a revival- start the work in me:
Thy Word declares Thou wilt supply our need;
For blessing now, O Lord, I humbly plead.






If you would like to be on our mailing list to receive our newsletter and updates, click on "Map" button above and look near the bottom of the page for the form. 



@  Heart 2 Heart February 2009