• jimpaula

Watch out for the weeds

Updated: May 31, 2020

Paula writes a challenging piece encouraging us to reflect on the impact of sin on our lives. She urges us to get rid of the "weeds" in our lives so that we can better reflect the beauty of our Gardener.

I don’t know about your garden but I find I constantly have to deal with weeds. My garden might be fine for a while but sure enough one weed pops up, then another and as they spread it starts to affect me every time I drive onto our driveway.

I think this is true of the weeds of sin in our spiritual lives too.

If left, sin grows and before long it can’t be ignored and others can see the truth. A life full of sin not confessed and dealt with is just like a garden full of weeds; it spoils the beauty of the person and all those who interact with them. Most importantly it reflects poorly on The Gardener.

In John chapter 15, verse 1 Jesus says “I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener.”

In order to bear fruit we are commanded to remain in Jesus, The Vine. In verse 8 Jesus continues: “This is to my Father's glory that you bear much fruit showing yourselves to be my disciples.


Holiness is an essential character trait as a Christian because of the Holy Spirit in us.

He is called Holy - it is His biggest attribute. We live in a world that covers up faults and weaknesses - in other words, sin. We live in a world that is careless with relationships and cares more about how others perceive them rather than who they actually are.

But Holiness is a matter of the heart. We so often focus on the obvious without paying attention to the inclinations of the hearts. We obsess over habits such as smoking and swearing but don’t focus on attitudes and behaviours such as dishonesty, pride and greed. Whilst these obvious habits do need to be addressed, in my experience it takes much longer to change the heart.

As a new believer the Holy Spirit’s presence in my life was evidenced by a new reality of God and a love for Jesus and His Word. There were other changes too. For instance, a desire to give generously in various aspects of my life and a new found joy to share my faith with anyone who would listen.

Basically I was changed from the inside out!

So where do the weeds come from?

Internal weeds:

Little things matter because just like weeds, sin spreads pretty fast. We can get sloppy in our lives and become thoughtless towards others. Tell a lie, not keep our word, not pay our taxes, care more about personal ambition than others. If not confessed, this leads to more and more selfish dishonest behaviour that affects those around us and our relationship with Our Father.

I see gardening as a good metaphor for sin: constant attention required, digging deep and getting rid of all that hinders us in our spiritual growth.

True Worship is how we live on a day to day basis and confessing sin is a big part of that as sin is a big deal to a Holy God.

Psalm chapter 141, verse 3 suggests we have to wear a guard over our mouths and think before we speak. It is often our words which lead to sin and can cause others to sin.

Hebrews chapter 12, verse 1 says “...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Throw off bad attitudes, offences against others, negative thinking, so we can focus on Jesus and His purpose for our lives.

For me it is often pride that leads to sin when I think I know better than God and rely on my plans, strength and abilities rather than putting God in the driver's seat.

External weeds:

Other people’s sin can affect us just like the neighbours weeds coming under the fence. It is important we recognise the weeds for what they are and deal with them. Remember some weeds don’t look like weeds but flowers.

Our stance regarding sin has to be Biblical and even though others may not view the sin as sin, we can test it with God's Word and/or wise counsel from within the church.

A need to examine

Trials that we face can sometimes lead to sin depending on how we respond. Charles Spurgeon offers advice about trials: “So dig up the soil and let us see what we are made of.” It is important to realise trials teach us about ourselves but they don’t undermine who we are as believers in Christ.

Of course we must remember that Satan is the great deceiver and his natural language is lies (John chapter 8, verse 44). Paul urges in Ephesians chapter 4, verse 27 not to give the devil a foothold in our lives.

I like the question Solomon asks in Proverbs chapter 6, verse 27 (NKJV): Can a man take fire to his bosom and his clothes not be burned? Some examples of fires that can burn us today are: our thought life, our lifestyle choices, when we dabble in dark practices and then we wonder why we get burnt.

The good news as put in 1 John chapter 4, verse 4 is that the One that is in you is more powerful than the one who is in the world.

Don’t allow things into our lives that should never be part of our lives. Don’t leave the door of our hearts open to evil and when we do mess up, we confess our sin so our hearts can be cleansed.

It is important to remember that if we walk in the Spirit we can’t be defeated by Satan so we don’t need to be fearful. However we need to be prepared to deal with him just like in the example of Job and not be led astray as John writes in 1 John chapter 3, verses 7-9.

A few years ago when a friend bought a property with a big beautiful garden she asked me “how am I going to maintain this garden?” My practical response then was “30 minutes as often as possible of weeding and pruning is manageable but let it get away with you and you will have a garden full of weeds.”

I see gardening as a good metaphor for sin: constant attention required, digging deep and getting rid of all that hinders us in our spiritual growth.

That way, day by day, week by week - with less weeds - others can see more beauty and more evidence of the Gardener in our lives.

Paula is a speech language therapist with pre-schoolers who have a disability. She and her husband, Jim, have been part of Windsor Park since moving from the UK 20 years ago.They are parents of two teens and have recently become team leaders for year 9 youth. Writing is a new thing but one which she is enjoying as a way of expressing how God speaks and leads her in everyday life.

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