Anyone who has been to the dentist has probably heard these or similar words. The dentist is about to crank open your mouth, stick a needle or 5 into your gums, in preparation for drilling, filling, or pulling your teeth, and he says these unpromising words, “you’ll feel just a small pinch.”

I have suffered this experience many times. It is never pleasant. However, I know that if I don’t go through the momentary pain of a visit to the dentist, I will have a lifetime of pain from decaying teeth.

The process of sanctification is not unlike a visit to the dentist. Throughout my life, I have gone through times of pain and discomfort. But, it is often through those times I have seen the removal of decay caused by pride, lust, disobedience, and many other sins that are buried deep within my soul.

Like a dentist with a drill, God must dig deep into our inner being and carve away those things which decay our souls. Although it will hurt for a little while, God is good and his work will result in us being spiritually healthier and more effective as ambassadors for his kingdom on earth.

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