A Toothbrush For The Soul

(Spending time in the Bible cleanses us and sets us free)

If you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. (James 1:25)

By Fr. Chris Lee OFR

Dental hygiene is an excellent illustration for our soul-care. If we want to maintain a strong, healthy soul we should examine it daily. First, we must quickly remove those bits of arrogance, hatred, jealousy and other sins by privately admitting them to God (1 John 1:9). If we fail to do so, those sins will start decaying sections of our soul. Secondly, we need God’s Word to brush our souls on a daily basis. This removes the build-up of wrong priorities and stimulates our spiritual life. Should we neglect this daily soul-care, it won’t be long before our whole soul starts to infect and rot. We will slowly grow angry, selfish and despondent. Given time we will lose our passion and turn bitter. Soon, it will become evident to others that our attitude stinks and before long people will go out of their way to avoid us.

Like good dental hygiene, our souls need a daily cleaning from the gunk that clings to us from everyday life. The Bible is like a great “toothbrush” for the soul. Unfortunately, many have turned away from the Bible to find so called “truth” elsewhere. I believe this explains why so many feel yucky, instead of fresh and clean. The Good News is that God loves us so much that He has given us a perfect “scrubber” that is true for all people, for all time. Moses reminds Israel that God’s Word was plain and written in stone so that they would have a permanent record (Deut. 5:4-5, 22). That permanent record still exists. We can be confident that the Scriptures are valid and trustworthy even today (2 Pet. 1:21).

How many of us have taken the time to read the Bible, and let it scrub away the yuck? The answer is……. not as many as one would hope. I believe this explains some of the confusion in our lives. The Bible is a library that contains history, poetry, a narrative, stories, characters, commands, and prophecy. It teaches the character and nature of God as Creator, Savior, Coach, and Judge. It teaches us about the Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Holy, Just, Good, and Loving God that became a real human being (Jesus of Nazareth) in order to reconcile us to Himself. Make NO mistake, the Bible is the living, powerful, inspired Word of Almighty God. It is still good for us, cleanses us, and sets us free from the gunk!

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