Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sitting Among the Weeds

Holy Saturday is a good day to "sit among the weeds." What does that mean, you ask?  The term comes from Teresa of Avila. To sit among the weeds, says  Bill Mounce is to think upon your sins.
.....The weeds are your sins, and her encouragement is to look at the weeds, sit in them, and learn from them. You see, the degree to which you do not understand your sin is the same degree to which it will control your life. But as you sit among the weeds, it is there that you will start to understand your sin and, more importantly, you will more fully understand God’s love and grace and acceptance.

When we are walking without stumbling too much, God’s love may not mean that much; who wouldn’t love a great person like me! But in the midst of your weeds you will know God’s love in ways you have never before. “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). God doesn’t love us because we are good. He loves us despite the fact that we are wicked.

A friend of mine says that the great sin of the church is moralism. We do something wrong, and we quickly try to do something right to make up for it. I say something that hurts my wife, so I run out and buy a lamp to make up for it. (Actually, this happened quite a bit when I was first married.) I neglect my son, so I run out and buy a toy for him.

There certainly is a time and a place to “make up” for a wrong, but what my friend wants us to do is to stop long enough to get a good look at the sin. Why did I want to say something that would hurt my wife? What is it about my life that makes me so busy I tend to neglect others. Sit among the weeds. Learn about your sin.

If I could mix my metaphors, consider the iceberg. When you and I sin, it is just the tip of the iceberg. We bump into it and stumble. The worst thing we can do is simply cover over the tip. We need to stop, go down under the water so to speak, and look at the base of the iceberg. Dealing just with the tip isn’t going to help you; seeing the iceberg for what it truly is, is the only way to gain a true understanding of what the iceberg of sin really is in our life and therefore be able to deal with it. Sit among the weeds.

When you sin, confess it quickly, do what you need to, but take a long look at the sin. It’s only the tip of the iceberg. And yet God loves you, knowing more about the iceberg of sin, which is part of your life, than you will ever know.