More Wisdom from a Tooth



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Recently I wrote about my grief about losing a tooth (click here to read that article if you haven’t already). I’ve continued to ponder life lessons I can take from that trauma. Today’s is spiritual.

My tooth looked good on the outside. It worked just fine. I had no pain.

A closer look, an x-ray, showed a problem. But it wasn’t until the old crown came off that we could see how deep the problem really was.

I realized the same thing happens in our spiritual lives. On the surface everything looks great. We may be managing our affairs fine. We may be praying and more. But a closer look, such as what happens when we put a little stress into our lives, and we see how strong (or not) our spiritual foundation really is.

Look even deeper—an even greater emotional or physical stress—and we may find that the foundation we thought was solid is rotten through.

When we’re not deeply rooted in our faith—in my case, God and His word—and living out its tenets (such as to love one another, to not be anxious, or to repay evil with kindness), we rot from within. Then, when push comes to shove, we topple.

My problem led me to examine the solidness of my spiritual life; I found it lacking too. While I am strong and very capable, I am extremely limited compared to God. The Bible says, I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. (Phil. 4:13). This means that with a stronger foundation, I could do much more.

Even if my physical and emotional lives are strong, I can’t do much without a strong spiritual life.  A strong spiritual life comes from being firmly rooted in truth, which for me is a faith in Jesus. Others’ spiritual foundations are based elsewhere.

Regardless, if the spiritual foundation is not strong and healthy, eventually, just like my tooth would have, it will rot and cause pain.

So while the tooth issue was not something I welcomed, I am not sure I would have looked at the state of my spiritual self without it. For this I am grateful.

What is niggling at you in your life, trying to lead you toward a stronger spiritual foundation?