Out in the countryside where I live, weeds outnumber grass ten to one. Our “lawn” is full of clover, plantains, dandelions, and wild violets. The weeds try hard to creep into all of my cultivated beds. A bare patch of soil seems an invitation for havoc.
These weeds keep me very busy in the garden. I must check for weeds every day in summer’s height and remove them while they are still seedlings. If I don’t remove them, they will quickly choke out the sunlight and take up nutrients and water meant to nourish my good plants.
Since I live in the woods, I also have tougher weeds to deal with. Poison ivy and honeysuckle try to invade my flowerbeds. Wild blackberries have taken over my iris bed since last year. These weeds are much harder to remove than smaller weeds in the lawn. They are tough and woody and don’t give up without a fight. The honeysuckle twines everywhere, the poison ivy causes severe skin irritation, and the blackberry brambles are covered in thorns.
Jesus told a parable about seeds and where they fall. He said if seeds fall in thorny soil, their growth will be choked out. He likened the thorns to worldly influences, which will choke out the goodness of God’s word.
I must be vigilant in guarding my heart against the creeping effects of sin. The sins that take root almost daily in my heart are criticism, dissatisfaction, indulgence, laziness, and selfishness. They sneak in so quietly, sometimes I don’t notice them until they spread over into other territory, like when I hear my snarky opinion repeated in my child’s words. By that time, my sin is fully grown and running rampant, and it’s harder to remove than when it first began growing in my heart.
When I privately confess my sins to God every day, I begin lifting those bad roots out of my heart’s soil. God pulls them out and restores the soil to health with forgiveness and grace. Even though I’ve been a Christian for decades, I need that time of daily confession to stay humble and healthy.
The Bible makes it clear that we will always have to deal with the weeds of sin, as long as we’re living. But daily confession will help clear our hearts so the weeds of sin don’t have deep roots.
Questions for reflection:
Which weeds of sin try to take root in your heart daily?
How can the practice of daily confession help you in a current struggle with sin?
Join me again tomorrow as my blog series “Meeting God in the Garden” continues. In the meantime, take a virtual tour of my garden, read my first guest interview, and check out my post on finding beauty in the garden.
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