Monday, April 23, 2012
WEEDING OUR SPIRITUAL GARDEN
How is your spiritual garden growing? Bad habits and sin can destroy the beauty and value of God’s work within us as easily as dandelions and other invasive plants can take over a beautiful lawn or garden. It requires diligence to grow into the bloom of God’s desire—diligence in Bible reading and meditating, prayer, and obedience. He is our perfect gardener.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
My pretty yard has its first dandelion in bloom. Because last year’s crop far exceeded my efforts to eradicate them, I’m resigned to letting them spread their prolific seeds to their hearts’ content. I don’t like to use chemicals, and there are far too many dandelions to dig out individually. I’ll simply enjoy my yard while it sparkles in golden beauty for a time and then watch the slow demise of the grass as the plants smother it.
I look at that dandelion and think about the sin in my life. No, I’m not a thief or murderer or an adulterer. But sometimes I harbor critical thoughts about someone whose life isn’t as spiritually “pretty” as mine. I find myself gossiping about someone who disagrees with my values. I pride myself for doing a good job when I should be thanking God for giving me the strength and know-how to do it.
These sins of mine can easily spread like the dandelions in my pretty yard, if I let them. I must try not to think that I’m “just that way,” or it’s too hard a job, or I’m no worse than anyone else.
Your sins may be entirely different from mine. You may not be guilty of criticism, gossiping, or pride. Perhaps your sin is greater, at least considered greater in the eyes of society. The name of the sin doesn’t matter, however, in God’s eyes. His promise of restoration applies to any one of us—regardless. As long as we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive us.
Our best efforts won’t get rid of our sin. We must allow God to do it, through Christ. Only God can dig out the tough-rooted, easily-spread sins we harbor—if we are willing to die to our self-will and, believing wholly in His powerful love and grace, allow Him to live in us. Through the shed blood of His Son, Jesus, He will cover our sins. Through His Word and Spirit, we will receive strength to remove ourselves from those sins.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
Lord, thank You for Your incomparable gifts of salvation and restoration. Forgive us for our wrongdoing and give us the grace to remain pure and holy in Your sight. We don’t want to allow sin to grow unchecked like the dandelions in my yard. In Jesus’ name, amen.