Friday morning I was weeding a flower bed, which is a job that I do not enjoy at all. I know that the job has to be done though. I was thinking while I was doing that how I thought I had all the weeds out of the bed when I planted the flowers earlier. I put mulch in that was supposed to be free of weeds. So, how did all of the weeds get into the flower bed? As I pulled one weed, I found that the roots of that weed went on for what seemed to be forever. I realized that if I wanted a weed free flower bed, then I would have to get all the roots out as I pulled the weeds out. I would also have to check on the bed regularly, which I am guilty of not doing, to see if there were any weeds growing and then deal with them immediately. This is a battle that has to be fought with dedication to the beauty of the flowers and the flower bed.
There are so many spiritual applications that can be made from this scene in my front yard. I would like to deal with just one: handling habitual sin in our lives. Ouch! You might not have to deal with habitual sin. You might be living the sanctified life in such a way that there are very few shortcomings that you deal with. I am not like that. I strive to be Godly, yet there are some nagging thoughts as well as habits that are attempting to be stumbling blocks for me and the people around me. Just so you don’t think I making things up, anger and laziness are two that come to my mind immediately. I really have to work on these two as well as others. Just please don’t ask my wife to divulge what the others are. How do we deal with such habitual sins?
- Ask God’s forgiveness. I John 1:9 says that God will forgive us as we confess our sins. He will actually cleanse us from the unrighteousness of the sin.
- Receive God’s forgiveness. Romans 8:1 says that “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” One of the hardest things to do is to forgive ourselves. We often times look at our mistakes or our habits with guilt and self-condemnation. We might think that we are worthless because we cannot get on top of the problem. God does not see us that way, therefore we need to ask God to give us His eyes for us and live in His forgiveness.
- Get to the Root of the Problem. Realize that habits start somewhere. When did your habit start? What were the circumstances around the onset of the habit? Is there someone you need to forgive? Is there a lie that you believed at the time of starting so-called habit? In order for us to live victoriously, we must deal with the root of our sins.
- Watch out for the signs of the Sins. We need to be aware of our sin symptoms. When we notice the symptoms cropping up, we need to “pull them out.” If we pay close attention to our lives, then we will be able to get to the weeds before they get to us.
As you look at this short list today, I want you to know that each of us can live a Godly life. The weeds in our lives do not have to choke out the fruit that God is producing. It takes time and effort as well as a dedication to the beauty of the garden.