Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Toothbrush Christianity

A couple of months ago, a friend (let's call her Beth) related to me her battle with recurring nightmares, which were keeping her from sleeping well at night. 

Having recently dealt with the same problem myself, I was able to offer her some advice. I suggested that she read scripture before going to bed, and spend time in prayer asking for God's peace and protection.

My friend agreed that this would probably help. Then she confided, "You know, I feel like a really bad Christian sometimes. I know I'm supposed to read my Bible more, but I just don't do it!"

I think all of us have felt that way at times, and as I began to explain this, an illustration popped into my head. 

"Beth," I said, "if you didn't brush your teeth every day, would that make you a bad person?"

"No..." she responded, somewhat bewildered.

"Well then," I said, "do you really think that not reading your Bible makes you a bad Christian?"

The illustration was so striking I have still not forgotten it. Isn't it great when God deposits a word picture in our heads?

You see, just like dental care is for our own good, reading the Bible daily is a tool God has given us for our own good. When we skip out, WE lose out.  Those cavities that start to eat away at our teeth can also invade our minds and souls if we are not protected by the tartar-fighting forces of the Word!

Our minds are susceptible to the faulty reasoning of the world.
Our emotions are left wide open to be set off by anything that doesn't go our way.
Our hearts are easily hooked by the idols of the world that seek our love.
Our souls are left without food to nourish them, and they wither away, eating at the meager reserves of truth we have stored in our minds. If there isn't any there, how quickly we will starve!

Are there days when I skip my Bible reading and prayer time for the day? You bet. More than I'd like to admit.  But just like missing a day or two of brushing your teeth is a silly reason to forsake dental hygiene altogether, it would be absurd to say "forget quiet time...I can't do it consistently!"

Every time I choose to brush and floss, even when I don't feel like it, I end up being thankful I did. And it makes the choice easier the next time.

And every time I read my Bible and pray before I start my day or before I go to sleep, my days and nights go a thousand times better. And I'm solidifying that habit of making Jesus first in my day and my life.

I'm not going to ask if you brush your teeth daily.  That's between you, your family, your dentist, and anyone you speak to at close proximity.

As your sister in Christ, however, I want to ask and encourage you: Are you reading God's love letter/instruction manual/"Eternal Life for Dummies"/Satan-stompin', Jesus-rockin', twitter-toppin', best-sellin' book?  And are you reading it daily?  If not, you're the one who's missing out! The LAST thing you want is spiritual cavities! I mean, ew! (oh, and the spiritual "bad breath" that ensues may even scare away the cute fellow or lady you were hoping to befriend! Yikes!)

So pick up that Bible! (Or pull up that Bible app on your smartphone.  Just don't let Words With Friends get in the way.) Start practicing "Toothbrush Christianity" today!


  1. Ok, wow. once again lajoie blows our minds. good one buddy

  2. WOW!!!! Thanks a lot for this. i know how important it is to study the word, i even write about it, but some times it's just so hard... so so hard, and when i eventually do, i'm there reading and opening up treasures and so excited and mad at myself for staying off for so long.


  3. Yes. If you think a tooth cavity hurts, just wait until you need a spiritual root canal.

  4. love the tooth-brush / tooth-paste cross ... <3 a great mental picture to take w/ me for remembering this devo. =) gonna' share this lesson w/ my kiddos before bed tonight! --- thanks for writing! <3