Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.
Matthew 13:7 (NIV)
I’d noticed the wild strawberry plants last summer. Their stunted, bitter berries were a mild annoyance mixed among my luscious crop. But I ignored them, unaware of the price of my tolerance. Left unchecked, the wild berry plants have run rampant – until today, when I spent half the afternoon pulling them out. It was tedious work – they look a lot like real strawberries and the plants were intertwined, requiring careful extraction. But I’m hoping my diligence will pay off and allow my berries to thrive.
Lord, keep me rooted in your word. Help me to notice the weeds of sin as soon as they spring up and to uproot them quickly before they take over. May my heart be fertile ground for your truth.
I’ve seen weed creep in my spiritual life too. Mild irritation can quickly grow into full-blown anger, leading to rage or bitterness. Bending the truth just a bit makes it easier to flat-out lie in the future. Listening in silence to gossip or slander can pave the way to join in next time. A bad habit left unchecked has the potential to grow out of control. If we allow weeds of sin to remain, they can multiply and choke out the fruitful crop we desire.
James addresses this issue in his gospel. “Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” (James 1:14-15). This progression is the ultimate weed creep.
The good news is that God is the Master Gardener. We can trust him to lovingly bring weeds to our attention. When we plant the truth of his Word in our fertile hearts, cultivating our relationship with him daily, we grow healthy and strong.
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