Weed Be Gone - He Said
Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. - James 1:21
I hate a weed. Our neighborhood has one of those commons areas beside our home. When we first moved into our house, this plot of land was covered with rocks, dirt and weeds. I spent three years landscaping the dirt on a piece of property I didn't own because I hated the sight of the weeds. Plus, they were spitting their seed onto my lawn.
Then a couple of years ago the homeowners association (HOA for short which, as you know, stands for Home Owner Asylum, because you'd have to be completely out of your mind to agree to live in a subdivision with one of these) finally spent some money and had a landscape crew come in to dress up the vacant lot. They planted golf grass, carved out a few flower beds, buried some sticks that eventually grew into trees, and then, raised our dues.
The vacant lot got to looking better. Then this year the HOA abandoned the commons area and gave it back to the weeds.
A few weeks ago I went around the area pulling up weeds. It felt good to rip broad leaf invaders up by the roots. I thought I'd done something big, you know. Improved the look of our neighborhood. But the weeds came back, this time with dandelions, and there are too many to pull, so I've given up.
While I was looking at that disgusting lot I heard God remind me that my attempts to rip out the sin in my life are about as futile as my efforts to de-weed that vacant lot. I can stop sinning for a while, but not for long. Lord knows I've tried.
Earlier this year, while I was battling a particular weed in my life, I fell on my knees and told Jesus he'd have to deal with it. That I couldn't keep it from coming back and taking over. So now that plot in my soul is His responsibility.
Do I still stress about it? Sure. Do I still encourage the weed? Sometimes. But really, I'm looking forward to the day when that portion of my soul is golf grass perfect.
There's a reason Christ came to die for my sin. He knew I could never pull the weeds fast enough to keep the lawn of my heart pure. Praise God, with His help, I don't have to. I only have to give my sin over to Him and let him cleanse, trim and manicure my heart.
I have no idea what people who don't have Christ do about their weeds. I guess they could argue that their lawn is putting green pure. But I know weeds. And I've watched a few rounds of golf in Augusta, so I know what a good looking spread of golf grass can look like.
I also know that left on its own neither a man's heart or his lawn gets to looking like that without a Master's touch. So if you're having trouble keeping the sins out of your life, ask... no, beg Christ to take over that area of your life.
Ashamed and Embarrassed -- She Said
Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. – James 1:21
A few months ago, I sat at a dinner event with a friend. We’d both worked hard with this group and we were thrilled to accept their invitation to attend an awards evening. We dressed up “real purty,” from the panty hose to the lip gloss. Upon our arrival, we were greeted with royal treatment. As the program began the speaker read a short bio. My heart raced, the color left my face as I thought, “This is about me.” I nearly died. The speaker led a toast to my friend. I was stunned. The bio sounded like my own, even down to the little tidbits of service. My face turned crimson and heat permeated from every pore of my body. Embarrassed was not EVEN close. I was just thankful I didn’t jump the gun and stand up before the name was read. It didn’t bother me that I was not the recipient, but what got my goat was I assumed it was “all about me.” I’d fallen prey to sin and I was ashamed.
When I walked by the river today, I caught a glimpse of the Father sitting on a boulder jutting from the water, one knee up, arm resting across it. He chewed a piece of dried grass and as I neared him, He motioned for me to join Him. Laying across the boulder, I rested my elbows on the stone.
“We need to talk.” I said.
“I know. I was waiting,” the Father replied as He slipped His foot into the water.
“It’s not like You don’t already know what I need to say.”
“No, it’s not. But I need to hear you utter the words.”
“I know. That part stinks.”
“Uh-huh. That’s why it’s called repentance.” He tossed a crumb of bread near his foot and smiled as the fish surfaced to nibble.
“My heart wasn’t in the right place. I didn’t mean to assume. I mean, the bio sounded like mine. I’m embarrassed and ashamed that I thought that recognition was for me.”
“It happens –mistakes, that is. You slipped up, let the Father of lies whisper to your ego.”
“Thank God, I didn’t do that.”
“You’re welcome. But no need to thank me.”
“I really work hard to keep my heart in the right place. I mean, I make great effort to try and do that. I’m so ashamed.”
We sat quietly for some time, Him tinkering with the fish and me watching. Not a word was uttered. “Are You mad?”
“Mad about what?”
I groaned. “About my heart being wrong.”
“Wrong about what?” He asked.
“Assuming the recognition was for me.”
It took a minute for me to realize, I love a God that forgets! For some of us, forgetting is a serious matter, but not for God. It’s an intentional habit.
He wants me to tell him my sin and then He forgets. That makes me humble. So, tonight as I crawl into bed, I’ll thank God for setting my heart straight and then forgetting.
Do you have things to tell the Father? Share with Him. You’ll be glad you did, because in the end, He forgets.