Splotches of Pink and Red
I visited my least favorite place last week—the dentist. Nothing like a root canal and a new crown to bring back childhood memories of drilling and fillings. As I reclined in the chair listening to the terrifying noises, I began to grin (well, the best I could in the dentist’s chair).
My thoughts drifted back to elementary school and the health seminars on the proper way to brush our teeth. At the conclusion of the presentation, each child was handed a packet of little red, chewable tablets. I clutched mine eagerly, anxious to get home to my toothbrush.
After school, I’d dash home, push through the front door, and race down the hall to the bathroom. I’d brush and scrub until I believed I had done an immaculate job of cleaning my teeth. Then I’d rip open my treasure and chew the tablets to see if I had missed any places. To my dismay, my teeth would gleam red and pink. Do you remember?
As my dental work continued, my thoughts turned to a spiritual application. Am I ever as concerned about scouring myself clean from the world as much as I was when I brushed my teeth as a child? Am I diligent to floss away the plaque of pride or envy? Do I swirl mouthwash to cleanse my criticism and complaining? Am I meticulous about protecting my thoughts each morning and night?
What would all of our hearts look like if there were little red tablets that could reveal their cleanliness? I’m glad that Jesus cleansed us on the cross because I’m afraid that without His scrubbing brush all you would see on me would be splotches of pink and red.
If you’re like me, it’s easy to beat yourself up when you know full well that you’ve messed up. We don’t need those little red brushing pills to remind us of our spots and blemishes. That’s why 1 John 1:9 remains one of my favorite verses in the entire Bible. It says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
What that promise tells me is that God knows my shortcomings and how easily I put a stain on my heart. Yet I don’t have to carry the guilt, the shame, and the torture of beating myself up. I love knowing that when I simply confess my sin, He is quick to the rescue to not only forgive me but to clean the slate. He removes all of the splotches and makes me so gleaming white that I glow in the dark.