We've all done thing's that we look back at and regret. It might have been a careless or hurtful thing we said to a loved one. Or being unfaithful to someone we're committed to. We're all in this same boat. We're all guilty on this one.
But when it comes to our teeth, some of us are more at fault. From my earliest years, it seemed to be a family tradition to chew ice. Now, I'm not talking about ice chips. That's for weenies. We chewed on full-sized ice cubes. We'd put one of them suckers way back in our mouth and crunch down on it with our molars. There was a very satisfying "crack" when the cube finally broke into pieces.
But there was more.
I'd buy these really large and brutally hard pretzels that I'd eat with a class of ice cold milk. There was none of this dunking stuff to soften them up. Oh no. You jammed one of these granite-like pretzels into your mouth and crunch away. Once it shattered, you took a sip of the mile. There was just something about the salty - dairy combination that was great.
But there was something even worse.
Don't ask me how I started doing this, but chomping down on partially popped popcorn kernels was the height of chewing on the impossible. They had a distinctively different flavor than regular popcorn that I really liked. And the sound they made when they finally cracked was also very satisfying.
Now, in case there is any doubt - DON"T DO ANY OF THESE THINGS! They are harmful to your teeth and can land you in the emergency room of your dentist.
The reason that I bring these up is that I now have four crowns and one less tooth than I was born with. Over time, abusing my teeth eventually cracked them. Every time I went into the dentist office after cracking a molar, I was asked what happened. My answer was, "Hey, I don't know."
Yes, there is total and free forgiveness of all our sins through Jesus' death on the cross. And we should never stop thanking God for this. But, there can be life-long consequences to what we've done and said.
But there can be consequences for a lifetime of violating God's best for our life. There was a great evangelist that was used mightily by God to reach thousands for Jesus. In this one city, he went out to an ice cream parlor with the leadership team after an evangelism meeting.
They all ordered large ice creams and milkshakes. When he ordered a club soda, they all made fun of him. He explained that his drinking before his coming to Christ had ruined his stomach and he had to be very careful about what he ate. They all became silent.
We need to thank God for his unbelievable grace and mercy in Jesus. But in his plan, there are also consequence for our actions. Just as there are consequences for how we treat our teeth, there are consequences before God for what we do.
May God give us his grace to live like Jesus lived to save us. To change us. And if God does allow the consequences to stay, let's hear the same promise that Paul received from God.
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:9