The Writing Dentist
August 16, 2022
“…‘It is written…’” (Matthew 4:4, NKJV).
As followers of Christ, leaders in dentistry have the opportunity—perhaps even the responsibility—to write things down for their teams as a reference and to understand as principled guidance for working together, serving the patients in their care or dealing with the vendors who knock on their doors or crowd their inboxes. When those written guidelines are lived out by the owning dentist or partners, dental teams catch a vision for how dentistry and ministry come together in kingdom living. And those who put their thoughts into words on paper or screen can have an impact far beyond the walls of their offices.
Matthew introduces his gospel in chapter 2, verse 5 by telling us “it is written” that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. As the chapters roll by, he portrays heaven’s King commenting on His behavior nine times saying that He did with phrases like “just as it is written,” “this is He of whom it is written” (Matthew 11:10, NKJV), etc. With each of the three temptations Jesus faced against Satan in the wilderness came His response, “It is written…” (Matthew 4:4, Matthew 4:7, Matthew 4:10).
Jesus understood His mission fully within the context of God’s written revelation to man. He lived His life exemplifying that Word. Satan knew this, too, and in the wilderness attack even said himself, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down [from the pinnacle of the temple]. For it is written: ‘He shall give his angels charge over you’…” (Matthew 4:6, NKJV). Jesus did not fall for Satan’s play on words because He not only knew holy Scripture, but He understood it.
We will never be Jesus, but He encouraged us that we could do even greater works than His early disciples witnessed (Matthew 21:1, Mark 11:2). First, we seek to understand ourselves as one whom God has formed and called apart from the womb (Psalm 139:13-16, Jeremiah 1:5, Galatians 1:15). When that calling is to lead a dental team or others in the dental industry, we then depend upon God’s Spirit and power to live out that calling with verve. As Jesus walked along the seashore and called disciples unto Himself, we also choose others to partner with us in this life of service. They learn from us, are protected by us, are provided for through our enterprise, are mentored by us and some go out from us to establish beachheads of dental ministry in other places.
Policies and procedures can be undergirded with Scripture. Team huddles and meetings can be guided by spiritual principles. People can be nurtured, forgiven and restored as Christ would Himself do. And all these things can be written down for all who come behind us.
“…go, write it…on a tablet in their presence And inscribe it on a scroll, That it may serve in the time to come As a witness forever” (Isaiah 30:8, NASB).
The writer of Proverbs reminds us, “When there’s no vision, the people get out of control” (Proverbs 29:18a, CEB). Not being specific about the nature of our work or ministry opens the door for varying interpretations of what should be done, creating both inefficiency and confusion. Dentists who are concerned about the internal and external faces of their practice must become writing dentists. It simply will not be sufficient to tell it again and again. Yes, even faith comes by hearing, but hearing that is grounded in the written word (Romans 10:17).
Matthew began his gospel by taking the Messiah out of the shadows and onto the pages of history and the one whom God had chosen—“…thus it is written by the prophet” (Matthew 2:5, NKJV). He ends it with a title nailed to the cross. What God had declared from heaven in Bethlehem was symbolically declared by powers of this world—“This is Jesus the King of the Jews” (Matthew 27:37, NKJV).
The Wealthy Dentist©, The Profitable Dentist© and on it goes. Whatever adjective goes before the word Dentist will be magnified by the Writing Dentist. What and whom will you and I magnify?