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Sunday, May 27, 2018

Of Teeth and Judging

John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

Recently something that happened to me years ago came to my mind and I realized it was a parable.

When I was growing up my dad had the idea that dentists promoted 6 month cleanings of teeth because they wanted to make money. He thought that if you brushed and flossed “properly” you didn’t need to have your teeth cleaned very often at all. He was not alone in thinking this. It seemed logical at the time, but I now know that regular professional cleaning does serve a useful purpose.

My family was living at poverty level most of the time back then and had no insurance, so we couldn’t afford to go to the dentist for anything but real issues anyway. Our dentist then was a Christian and did volunteer work in Africa yearly, so he understood people who couldn’t afford much dental care. He was patient and helpful.

It was sometime in my mid-teens when my grandparents were staying with us that I happened to mention to my grandpa that I had trouble cleaning the back of my lower front teeth. I had to scrape them with my fingernail or rub them with a towel to get them to feel clean on the inside. When I told him this he may have questioned me a little, but then his comment was, “It sounds like laziness to me.”

Needless to say, I was hurt. I was trying hard to clean my teeth properly. I felt like I was making an effort, and yet he had judged me of being lazy. (Let me say here that I am not trying to defame my grandpa on this point. We all say things like this from time to time without thinking and he was not one to always respond in this manner.)

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Vintage graphic: The Graphics Fairy.


  1. Very good. I apprecoated the example of your teeth whoch reminded me that I need to make a dental appointmentšŸ˜‰. We really need to come alongside one another and build each other up without condemnation.

    1. I'm glad I was able to remind you of getting your teeth cleaned. :-)
      Yes, it is so important to learn the facts and do what we can to help instead of just assuming we know all about it.