The Weeds That Choke

The Weeds That Choke

I am not proud of some of the champion weeds growing in my backyard beyond the fence. It is an area I do not mow so I pay very little attention to it. However, the weeds finally reached a height where even I could not ignore them. On a recent hot, humid morning, I went after those weeds with a vengeance.

Most things in life yield spiritual lessons if we look for them. What can we learn from the weeds?

First, the problem with weeds is that they choke out the things we want to grow. Do you remember the story Jesus tells called the parable of the sower? The sower is flinging seeds everywhere! Along the path, on rocky ground, among the thorns. Not a good place for the seeds to be. “The thorns grew up and choked them” (Matthew 13:7). The thorns took the nutrients from the soil, took the water, took the sunlight. The seeds had no chance.

You and I want the character of Jesus Christ to grow within us. But that is not going to happen if weeds grow tall in our lives. The weeds of indifference, the weeds of addiction of various kinds, the weeds of gossip and cruelty, the weeds of complacency to the world’s injustices all take up precious space in the spiritual garden of our life. They choke out the good thing that we want to grow: the quality of character that marks us a genuine follower of Jesus. What are the tall weeds in your life?

Second, the problem with weeds is that they thrive on inattention. It seems as if the weeds appear suddenly and out of nowhere. One day they are just there! But that is not really the case. Those weeds beyond the fence grew to such enormous height because I allowed them to. I wasn’t paying attention.

The weeds that pollute our spiritual life may seem to appear suddenly and out of nowhere but that is not really the case. They grow because we allow them to. Because we’re not paying attention to the impact of deciding “I deserve it!” or “I guess I’ll try that” or “maybe just one more won’t matter” or “everyone else is doing it.” Where is your attention focused?

So what about the weeds in our lives? I noted that I attacked the weeds in my backyard with a vengeance. We can be glad that Jesus does not do the same. He attacks the weeds in our lives with his love, his sacrifice, his commanding invitation to follow him – and his great patience.  

So turn to Jesus (that is what repentance is). As often as you sin and fall short, turn to Jesus. He is your Savior. He is your friend and you should often go to him. As Emerson said, “go often to the house of thy friend, for weeds choke the unused path.”

That’s all for now. Time to go do some weeding!

David Lenz, Lead Pastor