Last week I had my wisdom teeth taken out. All four teeth were removed. People keep joking with me that I’ve lost my wisdom, but I think I have actually gained wisdom from the experience. I had four unwanted molars rooted in my gums. They were sucking away at the other teeth’s nutrients and causing pain. After the surgery, it hit me that those molars are just like “little” sins.

At first, the “little” sins don’t seem too harmful. But as they settle, they turn, twist, and become oh so uncomfortable that we think removal may be a good idea. Then, fear kicks in, what if the pain is still there after they are taken out or it gets worse? Questions like those try to discourage us from removing the harm from our lives. But when the pain persist, we should definitely see the Doctor. The procedure can be a bit painful, but we cannot only look at the present. We must be future and eternity focused.

Those “little” temptations can be ungodly televisions shows, books, songs, clothing, white lies, etc. Anything that causes you to stumble in your walk with Christ is a temptation. I’m not saying that you need to cancel your Netflix subscription or burn your stuff, just watch for impure things to help keep you free from falling into that sin. Yes, we will all stumble, it is a part of life since the fall. But that does not mean we have to linger in a temptation that will only lead to sinful habits.

Then, the medicine wears off. While on the medicine, you feel fine maybe even happy. Once it wears off though, the soreness shows up. The soreness is like our flesh trying to return to its old way. There is now a hole, where there once was something growing. But when we kill those “little” sins and time goes on, you start to feel bored or upset at removing the things that gave you something to do. You might even start regretting your choice to remove the temptations. But let me encourage you to try your hardest to not stumble again. Even if you do, Christ is forever faithful. He gives us grace when we are so unworthy. He will make us right again, if we let Him. He will guide us back like He does the lost sheep (Luke 15:1-7.)

As the days and weeks go by, it will be easier. Those first steps are the hardest; you feel funny trying to walk and you get dizzy when moving around. But just like you begin exercising your leg muscles, you will be exercising your self-control. I prayed a lot for self-control, it is a fruit of the Spirit so I find that really encouraging!

Stay crazy and be wise, Hannah