2001-01-03 - Weeds and Habits
Jonah 2:5 "… weeds were wrapped around my head."
Have you ever considered how similar weeds are to bad habits? This is probably the wrong time of year for this analogy, but the weeds of the ground are similar in many ways to the weeds of the heart.
Both weeds and bad habits generally start small. Some weeds spread so quickly on the ground, and some habits infect the heart so quickly, that the original conditions of both are barely recognizable.
Weeds multiply without cultivation. It takes very little work to have a garden of weeds, but a well maintained garden takes time and diligence. It is the same with the heart. If we neglect the condition of our heart and simply do nothing to weed out the sin that so easily infects it, soon we have a heart overgrown with sin.
Both weeds and bad habits are rugged. If they are not cultivated, they still thrive. If we give them a foothold in the soil or in our hearts, they become established and take care of themselves.
There is one weed called a "snow thistle" that produces over 11,000 seeds. So it is with bad habits and sin in the heart. A single bad seed in the heart, if we let it set in, can produce and multiply over and over again.
Both weeds and bad habits of the heart are destructive. Just as weeds choke out the good things growing in the garden, so also weeds in the heart choke out the newness of life that is there for the believer in Christ. Weeds choke out the nourishment needed for the garden to grow, and sin chokes out the renewal of life that is our reality -- in our hearts -- through Christ.
Lastly, just as weeds are harder and harder to get out of the ground the longer they are allowed to thrive, so also sin in the life of the believer is harder and harder to root out the longer it is allowed to exist. Just as a leopard cannot change its sports, so also sin, ingrained in the heart, is difficult to extract.
The good news for the Christian is that, even though we still have to deal with indwelling sin, it does not have dominion over us. Through Christ our hearts are made new, and through our walk with Christ, we are becoming more and more conformed to the image of Christ. In Romans 6:14-22 we are taught to subdue our sin, and as it says there, it is a struggle. But struggle we must. We must seek to weed sin out of our hearts. The process, like maintaining a garden, is never-ending. The weeds in our heart do spring up, and when they do it is in our interest to pull them out quickly and keep them from gaining deep roots in our lives.
Soli Deo Gloria,