I’ve been enjoying getting into that garden, now that spring is finally here! The soil is dark and rich, the weeds aren’t too big to get out, except for that sneaky character convolvulus! I’ve gone all over the raised vegetable bed, removing the thick white roots, but just when I think it’s all gone, I find another bit, right in the middle! It’s always worst by the fenceline, and it’s very easy to blame the neighbours for not attending to their own weeds, but letting them infest my place.
I was looking along the weedy fencelines, and it struck me that sin is like these weeds. It’s easy to spot sin in the middle of the freshly- and frequently- attended vegetable gardens of our life – the parts of our day that come under regular and public attention. But how about around the edges? In the dark corners? In the shadow of the fences? We can blame the neighbours, or those around us, for sinful habits and attitudes sneaking in below the radar, but as Christians we have the responsibility to hold all our life under the scrutiny of God;’s holiness. It’s easy to spot obvious things in other people’s lives that we regards as sin, but how about the attitudes, the judgmentalism, the pride, that can so easily sneak in, take root and become habits of thought, and, worse, of speech?
Next time you’re weeding along the fences and spot those tendrils snaking underneath, think about what could be coming into your character from outside. I have seen the effect of television on my children’s language and speech habits – it’s an outside influence which needs to be weeded. What is there in your life? How about that drink, that turned into three drinks, that happens every day? New Zealand culture is full of excessive alcohol, and it becomes an idol, it makes people behave in ways displeasing to God, and it wastes resources.
Weed your garden, not just the obvious bits, but shine the light into the corners.