Monday, April 13, 2009

Weeds and Sins

The other day I was out in the gardens, front and back, doing some much needed work. This was the first cut of the back garden 'lawn' (or should that be jungle), and the dandelions were masquerading as the only yellow spring flowers in the front garden. Gardening is a good discipline, and gives time for reflection while getting the hands dirty.

As I was weeding, I saw some parallels between weeds and sins.

- Weeds are things that shouldn't be present. The definition of a weed is a plant that is unwanted in the garden. So the dandelions weren't part of my plan for the garden, so I had to get rid of them. In a similar way, sin wasn't part of the Designer's intention for our lives, yet that's the way we have chosen.

- Weeds are things that need to be constantly watched. A few weeks back we hit the front garden and tackled the weeds. For a while, the front looked decent, but then the weeds came back. Similarly, we need to be constantly watchful over our lives for the sins that keep rearing their heads.

- Weeds are easier dealt with when they're small. Young dandelions are easier pulled out than established dandelions which have developed roots. Similarly, we should be watchful for destructive patterns of sin - these are easier to deal with at an early stage than waiting until they have bedded down in our lives.

- It's not enough to clean up the surface. Dandelion roots go deep down, and just removing the shoots above the surface (thus making things appear good) isn't enough - the roots are then left in place and will keep doing what dandelions do - grow! Similarly, when dealing with sin, it's not enough to tackle the presenting issues, or to maintain a front of goodness - we must tackle the deep and hidden roots of sin in our lives.

I also noticed that weeds are quick to take over areas where there isn't anything else growing, and will take any opportunity to take root, even small cracks in the crazy paving! It's not enough to just remove the weeds, we also need to plant good plants. Similarly, while removing sins and mortifying the flesh, we also seek to grow the fruit of the Spirit, abounding in good - as Titus 2:11-15 says, renouncing ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives.

While the garden is presentable for now, it won't be long before another weeding session will be needed!

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