“Nikki! What in the world are you doing? You can’t do that!” I gently said to my dear wife.
She had just committed an unpardonable sin in my home of origin. She…are you ready for my unveiling of her dastardly crime…she…left a…spoon…in our leftovers…and…oh the humanity!…put said bowl and spoon…in the refrigerator!!!
Apparently, she is hell bent on killing our entire family. At least that is the way that I was raised to think. Nikki in tears of laughter—or maybe pain, I never can tell—informed me that this little spoon rule was nothing more than an old wives tale. I think she also began taunting me by sticking the spoon in the fridge and then her mouth.
As I began thinking about this I realized that it is a little ludicrous. But, after some research, I discovered that my mother is not totally insane. At least not on this point. Or at least she wouldn’t have been insane about 50 years ago. It is maybe possible somewhat likely that a copper or aluminum spoon could actually cause some problems with your food if left in leftovers in your fridge and consumed later. Problem is we no longer use aluminum spoons and the ones that we have in our home could be left in the fridge for weeks and never do any damage.
So, I lived for a good 25 years of my life with a death fear of spoons placed in a refrigerator. This was life changing information for me.
Sin, Familiarity, and Light
What is the point of this story? As Charles Bridges has said
Indeed it is the fearful property of sin to hide its own character and tendency. The blindness increases in proportion to our familiarity with it. (Commentary on Proverbs 14:12, page 177)
I never realized that my fear of spoons and refrigerators was woefully misinformed until I was placed outside my family of origin and entered the world of another. Because of my familiarity with this spoon rule my blindness was never exposed. It’s the same way with sin.
As Bridges states sin doesn’t like to show itself for what it is. Sin likes to hide in the dark and make you think it isn’t there. Or at least it makes itself not seem so bad as it exposes it’s half truth but masks its deadly poison. The more familiar we are with these particular sins the less likely we are to see them for what they really are.
Because of this tendency of sin three things are absolutely necessary for living the Christian life. The darkness of sin is only exposed by:
- The light of the Word
- The light of the Spirit
- The light of the redeemed community
We need the church, the Scriptures, and the work of the Spirit to overcome the blindness to our sin. May we be like David who said, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”
And then may we be bold enough to place ourselves under the light of the Word, the Spirit and the redeemed community.