"Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit."
My dentist tells an amusing story. A grizzled farmer, plagued by a toothache, came in. The dentist determined he needed to pull the tooth. "Just make it stop hurting," the farmer begged. The dentist gave him a shot of Novocain, then left the room so the numbing medicine could work. When he returned, the farmer was preparing to leave. When asked why, the farmer replied, "The tooth stopped hurting." The dentist tried to explain that he had merely administered a numbing medicine so the farmer would not feel pain while he worked on the tooth. But the farmer left anyway. Later, when the Novocain wore off, the farmer returned. This time he allowed the dentist to pull his tooth.
We laugh at this story. But don't we often approach our spiritual health in this way? There is sin in our life, making us miserable, so we beg for help from our Healer.
Yet, as soon as we get a little relief, we stop ridding ourselves of sin. We are content with a half-finished job. Thankfully we have a patient God to return to when we are ready to rid ourselves of all offenses.
Dear Lord, Help me to be serious about getting rid of the sin in my life. I long for the new heart and spirit that only You can give.