Sometime this year, I fell out of the habit of flossing. I'm not sure when it happened. Maybe it was when I ran out and forgot to put it on the grocery shopping list. Maybe it was when I decided I was too tired one night and just chose not to floss. It was easier to "forget" the next night and the next.
This morning, I realize I really need to floss. I find the floss, saw it down between my teeth, and feel surprisingly good about this activity.
It feels like I'm living with flair when I floss.
I learn that bacteria in the mouth starts to harden into plaque within only 48 hours. In just 10 days the plaque becomes tartar--rock hard and incredibly difficult to remove. Tartar leads to gingivitis which leads to periodontal disease (not fun).
I think about my week and how hardened my heart often feels. I wake up some days and feel the weight of my own selfishness. In just 48 hours (or less), I can turn from a spirit-controlled, loving wife and mother into a narcissistic she-devil demanding her own way. Left unchecked, in less than 10 days, I'm off in the pursuit of false dreams and false gods. I'm in a rage: complaining, entitled, tearing apart my family. Who is this woman?
How do these attitudes and behaviors lodge and harden? What could I have done to break up that bacteria and stay fresh and clean before God? I remember the Psalmist who wrote,
"Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting."
Living with flair means I floss. I apply, on a daily basis, the truth of God's word against every surface and root out even tiny--seemingly harmless--bacteria that overtakes and hardens in just hours.
I ask God to reveal "any offensive way in me." And when he does, I confess and know that, as 1 John 1:9 claims, "God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
I can't forget this habit, this flossing.
Journal: How can I build in the practice of confession on a daily basis?