”He says, ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.’ “

— 1 John 1:9 (NIV)

I recently had to go to the dentist and get a crown on my tooth. Of course the reason for the crown is because of the amount of decay in the tooth, and my dentist had been buying me time, but it had gotten to the point that she couldn’t buy me any more time.

This started my thoughts of a cavity and sin; it is amazing how close they are in comparison. A cavity starts slow, you don’t even realize it is there until one day an X-ray will show this tiny beast that is eating away at your tooth, and from there it just keeps getting worse if you don’t do something about it.

As children we rarely went to the dentist unless we had an immediate problem, so when I got old enough to make the decision to go, I had many cavities. The bad part was that I was terrified of the dentist, and the only way he could work on me to do my fillings and pull a tooth was to give me gas to calm my nerves. When I would get home and off the gas, I would generally have a good crying spell. I know, crazy.

I was living in Idaho at that time, and as long as I lived there, I kept my dentist visits up. Moved back to North Carolina and also kept my visits up. During the pandemic, I got out of the habit until the filling came out of that tooth, forcing me to return, so I am going to try to get back into the routine of going again and save my teeth as long as possible.

On a side note, between my great dentist and God I have overcome enough of my fears of the dentist that I can do it without gas now. I am sure Dr. Bundy can still see me tense up and squint my eyes because she will ask me if I need more medicine. I try not to do that if she is almost finished, though. I love her, but I am not a big fan of seeing her at the office, happier to see her away from the office.

Getting back to cavity and sin, just like with the gradual decay in a tooth, sin slowly builds from what we might call a “white lie” until it almost destroys you. If you don’t wait until your tooth is beyond saving, your dentist can repair that tooth to the point that you won’t lose it.

God is the same way with our sin. When we confess and go to Him, He wipes all our sin away and forgives us immediately for the wrong we have done, and it is as easy as giving God the sin and asking for forgiveness.

The Bible is a good medicine, just like the numbing medicine they use with our teeth, but it also may cause discomfort because it requires action on our part.

Unaddressed sin is just like a cavity — it affects the whole body. Some signs are ungodly speech, discontent and bitterness.

We have daily habits that can prevent cavities: brushing and flossing. In the same way we can develop habits that keep sin away: praying and reading God’s Word. But people get busy, pulled in many directions … suddenly, there is pain that signals a problem. But there is hope! God is on call 24/7! No appointment necessary!

No matter what our past patterns have been, we can choose today to have better routines that are good for our spiritual health!

Have a wonderful week, and remember that God loves you and so do I!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, train my spirit to hear the voice of God and tune out the voice of the world, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Thought: Have you repaired your cavities and sin?

Prayer focus: People with unrepaired sin!

BLUEBERRY PIE

Ingredients:

8-ounce Philadelphia cream cheese

1 cup granulated sugar

8-ounce Cool Whip

1 pint raw fresh blueberries

Directions:

Cream together the cream cheese and sugar. Add Cool Whip and mix well. Add blueberries and fold into cream cheese mixture. Pour into a baked pie shell and refrigerate overnight. Strawberries or peaches may be used as a substitute for the fruit.

Janice Sasser is the daughter of Ruby Hicks, who wrote weekly columns for the Mount Olive Messenger for six years. She is from Goldsboro and writes weekly columns out of an interest in continuing her mother’s tradition in the paper.