Last week I went to the dentist. This Prince got a crown (not heavenly one mind you. It was the $633-dentist’s-temporary-crown variety). I left with a frozen lip and a lighter wallet.
I’m pretty sure hell could be like sitting in a dentist’s chair and hearing that high pitched drill for all eternity. I have biblical proof for my theory. Didn’t Jesus say the bad place had “weeping and gnashing of teeth”? That sounds an awful lot like me in a dentist chair. Ugh! (Actually, my dentist is a wonderful man and a good dentist. My experience wasn’t as bad as I anticipated).
Are you like me when going to the dentist? Before going, I brush my teeth a lot more than my normal routine of morning and night. As the dentist appointment approaches, I start brushing in the morning, mid-morning, after lunch and always just before the appointment— brush, brush, brush. I even floss. I tell the dentist I “regularly” floss. By “regularly” I mean, the day before and on the day of the dental appointment, I make sure to floss. I don’t know if a dentist can tell if one brushes extra hard and flosses only before the visit. Does the dentist know that I approach the office visit like cramming for a final exam? He probably does.
Does Jesus know when we approach him with the same mindset? No “probably” involved with the omniscient, omnipotent One. He knows. Yet, how often do we attempt to clean ourselves up; have a smile pasted on; and act like there are no problems— as if Jesus wouldn’t know or wouldn’t look too deeply into our troubled heart? We know that’s not how it works. We simply can’t fool Jesus.
People try to fool everyone else. But why? We’ve all sinned. Everyone knows this. No one, but Jesus, has lived a sinless life. There’s no healing or help when putting on a front or wearing a mask. True help and healing come as we are honest, authentic and vulnerably confess our sins and humanity. Jesus never abuses or manipulates us when we are being real with Him. True followers, likewise, offer grace and mercy as we confess our sins to each other. James put it this way: Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. (James 5:16). Healing comes through confession and prayer.
Earlier in the same letter James writes: God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him (James 1:12). That’s the crown I’m after – the crown of life. More good news, one doesn’t have to sit in a chair listening to the ear-piercing, high pitched drill to get it!