Attempts to fill voids = all sins

By Dave Henning / May 19, 2022

“All sins are attempts to fill voids.  Because we cannot stand the God-shaped hole inside of us, we try stuffing it full of all sorts of things but only God may fill it.”- Simone Weil

Sheila Walsh concludes Chapter 5 of Holding On as she talks about two Hebrew words used in the Old Testament to help us understand repentance:

  1. nacham – means ‘to turn around or change your mind’
  2. sub – used hundreds of times in the Old Testament, it’s translated using words like turn, restore, and return

Furthermore, in the New Testament, the Greek word translated as ‘repent’ = metanoia.  It literally means ‘to change your mind.’  However, Sheila points out, notice that all these translations mention nothing about feeling sorry.  Because repentance involves action, rather than emotion.  Despite saying we’re sorry countless times, nothing changes unless we turn around.  Change our minds.

In addition, French author, activist, and convert to Christianity Simone Weil describes all sins as attempts to fill voids.  Also, Sheila observes, God created us to worship.  And we’ll worship something.  Therefore, Sheila counsels, if we box our worship of God into one day a week, we’ll worship something else the other six days.  Then that becomes our idol.

However, God wants our whole self.  Hence, in Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis describes this struggle.  He writes:

“The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing, is to hand over your whole self — all your wishes and precautions — to Christ.  But it is far easier than what we are all trying to do instead.  For what we are trying to do is remain what we call ‘ourselves,’ to keep personal happiness as our great aim in life, and yet at the same time be ‘good.’ ”

Finally, Sheila talks about lambs rejected by the birth mother immediately after birth – bummer lambs.  As a result, the shepherd must intervene.  Hand-feed the lamb from a bottle and keep it warm by the fire.  Or, that lamb dies – from a broken spirit.  And in the process of the shepherd’s care, the lamb comes to know the shepherd’s voice.

Today’s question: What sins do you recognize as attempts to fill voids?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The sun never grows weary of shining”

About the author

Dave Henning

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