I went to the dentist yesterday for an exam and to have my teeth cleaned. After the work was done the hygienist went over a list of recommendations for the ongoing care of my teeth. For the most part I knew what to expect, as my dentist has recommended for at least two years that I get several crowns repaired. Last on the list was the recommendation that I wear a mouth guard at night.
To say I didn't take this recommendation well would be an understatement, as I basically told the hygienist that it was ridiculous. (I'll confess that at this moment I was being unfair to the hygienist, who did an excellent job with my teeth, and who, for as much as I understand of her responsibilities at the dentist's office, always does excellent work.)
Anyhow, in my push-back on the mouth guard idea I "asked" for some sort of objective evidence concerning it's benefit for my teeth. Among the responses I heard back was this: that she herself uses one. Unconvinced, I made an appointment to get a filling taken care of and left the office.
I thought about the words we exchanged as I drove home, particularly her supporting the need for a mouth guard through her own use of one. It occurred to me that that kind of recommendation was a testimonial from personal experience, in combination with her professional experience. And next came the realization that in my present vocation, I would, and do, the exact same thing, all the time.
As a pastor, everything I do in the key parts of my calling has to do with the Bible. Be it preaching, visiting in homes, hospitals and nursing homes, teaching or counseling, everything is grounded in the Bible.
I open it and read it during worship. I study it and explain it, hoping to apply it's truth to whomever I am with at the moment. I read it and pray it with those I visit and counsel. I read it and pray it for myself and with my family. I encourage others to take up, read, ponder and apply its words for themselves.
Last Monday evening we kicked off another year of our community youth ministry, and I'll close this post with the same words I used in teaching the children that night, as my own testimonial, if you will, although the words are the Lord's:
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, that the man [or woman] of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.