Monday, 16 July 2012

Resolution 25: Right to the roots...

24. Resolved, whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, til I come to the original cause; and then both carefully endeavour to do so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original of it.

Kristin (in the buggy!) and I, age 3 and 1
When I was a kid, my sister and I had very different ways of handling conflict. When I got caught doing something wrong, I learnt very quickly that the best thing to do was show utter remorse, apologise quickly, and the whole thing would be done with. I didn't like the feeling that someone was upset with me, so my goal was (the majority of the time) simply to get through the apologies, accept the punishment and move on as quickly as possible. My sister was a different kettle of fish. She was not such a people-pleaser when it came to arguments, but more of a justice fighter. If she felt she'd been wronged, there was no way under high heaven that she would smile sweetly, say she was sorry and accept the punishment. No way. She would fight and cry and shout and stamp her little feet and usually end up with more of a punishment than if she'd learnt the big sister route of apologising and being done with it.

You may call it wisdom, the way I handled this youthful disciplining, but actually it was far from it. The problem was that it wasn't getting to the root of my sin, I often wasn't really sorry, or often I was sorry about the consequences of my actions for me, but not about the actions themselves.

My sister, in a sense, was actually being much more honest about what was going on inside than I was.

So often, we deal with the exteriors of our sin, and leave the roots, way under the surface, to grow deeper and deeper. Take gossip for example... your friend finds out you have passed on some information that they had asked you to keep confidential. Perhaps you did it because you "simply couldn't keep it to yourself", or perhaps because you counted this person as someone you were entitled to tell (i.e. someone in my family, like my husband, or my mum, doesn't count as passing it on...) Whatever the deal, when you find out that they know... you feel horrible about it. But why do you feel horrible? Sometimes, maybe it is because you have betrayed the confidence, but often, if we're honest we feel horrible because we're worried that that person will no longer trust us, or won't want to be friends with us any more... actually the root of our sin is pride, and people pleasing and the "remorse" we feel is the result of that.

So its time to take the trowel to our sin, to dig deep and get to the roots... not to simply deal with the weeds growing on top, but to find out where they are coming from... way down deep. Getting the roots out is WAY harder work than just pulling the tops off... and it hurts; it can be back-breaking, and long winded and utterly exhausting. But if we want to allow the healthy good stuff to grow in our lives, then we have to be brutal with those sin-weeds.

So lets get to the roots and let's get gardening!

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