I am so thankful for my church, Diversity Church, who’s catchphrase is Different People Same God. I have learned so much during the short time that my family has attended this wonderful church and started doing life with the people in that place.
Pastor Jonathan (PJ) Ember just recently finished an excellent sermon series on Commitment Issues, and now we are taking a deeper dive on the topic of Emotional Health in our small groups. On the cover of Peter Scazzero’s book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality that we are currently studying is a picture of an iceberg. I think that we can all agree that the visible part of an iceberg that floats above the surface of the water is beautiful. The problem with icebergs, however, is that most of the mass of the iceberg lies below the surface of the water, out of sight, which can be dangerous to ships that get too close to them, such as the Titanic.
As I was lying in bed thinking about my own emotional health, it occurred to me that our emotional health must be protected, just like our teeth. Reading the Bible, prayer, going to church, and serving are all excellent things, and they are critical to our spiritual health. Those “spiritual essentials” are kind of like brushing our teeth. Thankfully most people brush their teeth regularly, but how many of us floss regularly? I know that each time that I visit the dentist for a checkup, the hygienist deep cleans my teeth and always asks me how my flossing is going. Thankfully, I have a gap between two molars that food gets caught in. I say “thankfully” because this annoyance also serves as a constant reminder to me that I need to floss my teeth.
According to Oral B:
“Regular use of dental floss removes plaque, helping to prevent the buildup of plaque, which can lead to tartar. Simply flossing your teeth can make them look brighter by removing plaque and excess food particles that you may not see in the mirror or in areas that your toothbrush doesn’t reach. Think of a carpet before and after you vacuum. You may not really see the dust and dirt, but once you vacuum and the dust and dirt are removed, the carpet looks brighter. The same principle applies to flossing.“
“Daily flossing doesn’t just keep your teeth healthy—practicing good oral hygiene contributes to your health in other ways, too. In fact, there’s an increasing amount of evidence linking periodontal disease to an increased risk of heart disease, although more studies are needed to confirm this link. Some researchers think that mouth infections, like any infections, can increase the levels of inflammatory substances in the blood, which can promote blood clots and slow blood flow to the heart. Another theory is that bacteria from a mouth infection can easily enter the bloodstream and impact your cardiovascular system.”
So other than reminding you to floss your teeth after you finish your breakfast this morning, what exactly is the point of this manna? My point is how often to you open up your heart up to the Spirit of the Living God for spiritual flossing? It’s easy to go through the motions in life as Christians; to live a spiritual life to be seen by men. Just like the top of a iceberg. But what is going on beneath the surface of our spiritual and emotional life?
In the Bible, King David is described as a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam 13:14; Acts 13:22). I think that David understood the concept of spiritual flossing, because in Psalm 139:23 he wrote, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.”
David knew that he needed to be still sometimes and let God shine a flashlight into the deepest, darkest corners of his heart to expose areas of hurt and decay to bring them to the surface to be confessed and dealt with by God. David had a heart after God’s own heart because he was willing to give all of his heart to God, the healthy parts and the broken parts. David knew that exposing his entire heart to God was the only way to remain emotionally, physically and spiritually healthy.
Any student of the Bible knows that David was no angel. He was a murderer, an adulterer, and at times, was full of pride. Thankfully David didn’t let sin hold him back from becoming the man who God created him to be. David’s heart was strong and pure because he gave it to the Lord to inspect, cleanse, protect and make whole…. again and again.
Are you a man or woman after God’s own heart? If not why not? What is holding you back from giving your whole heart to God? My prayer for you and for me is that we can have better physical, emotional and spiritual health starting from today. All that is required is to be brave enough to admit that we need God’s help, and the help of others whom God brings into our lives to both challenge us and encourage us to be all that we were created to be. We all need consistent “spiritual flossing” of our hearts. Even if it takes a daily annoyance or two in our lives to remind us of this fact.