The Many Ways Sin is Like a Deadly Weed: Part Three
by Heather Bock
Before you read (or after, maybe), I would be so grateful if you’d head over to thejenweaver.com/writers-contest to vote for me by clicking “like” under my picture in the writers contest I entered. It was for my book review for Jen Weaver’s book A Wife’s Secret to Happiness, which is here, if you’d like to read it!
I thought I was going to write one post about how weeds are like sin, all the metaphors that run through (get downloaded by God into?) my mind while I weed. Here I am on yet another part! If you want to see the other parts, here’s part one and part two. You ready for part three?
Weeds are obnoxious. In fact, as of today, the weeds have grown so high in my yard that I am completely overwhelmed to look at them, especially since I know I have no time to attack them. I long to, though. On my way out to the mailbox yesterday morning, I pulled until both hands were too full to hold even one more. Thankfully, it’s my backyard, a little more sheltered from neighbors’ eyes, that is the worst.
Yes, I (and I believe the people before me) have spent more time sprucing up the front yard, the area on display for all to see. This is partly because, as I tell my children, we need to do it out of love for our neighbors. No, really! I live in a neighborhood full of people who highly value pristine lawns. It is very important to them that all the rest of the lawns look just as beautiful. They worry about the value of their house, of course, but it’s more that they are very into aesthetics. We live in a unique neighborhood, not known for its huge houses, but for its cute architecture and charm.
I don’t know how many people weed their lawns out of love for their neighbors, but I certainly hope we use this reason to choose not to sin. Most of the time, our sin belittles the value of others in a way an unkempt yard never could to another house.
Another, less holy reason I (and others like me) weed their front yards faster than their back yards is we don’t want people to see our mess. We want to look like we have it all together, even though if someone peeked over that fence, where the family hangs out and plays, they would see a different image. We might get rid of some sin not out of love for those around us but so we look good. Who takes the brunt of this hidden sin? Just like with the thorns in my backyard–my own family.
Yes, God wants us to eschew sin, but He wants us to do it in all parts of our lives, and He wants our motives to stem from love for Him and then from love for others. In Galatians 1:10, Paul writes, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Besides, if we think we’re hiding our sins, we’d better think again. My weeds are at the point where the seeds are going to spread soon if they haven’t already. The golden dandelions are going to turn into delicate puffs, ready to release tiny parachutes to the wind. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but weed seeds don’t respect fences. They are happy to spread to whatever fertile ground they can find. Sure, I could just build bigger fences to hide my weed secret, but eventually someone is going to end up in my backyard for some reason or another. Jesus Himself said, “For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light” (Lk. 8:17).
Not only do our secret sins get out past our gates, but they are catching. If I truly love those closest to me, I don’t just weed for their aesthetic pleasure and house value. I weed so their yards don’t become infested like mine. This is most obvious with those who are with me the most. How many times have I cringed to hear words coming out of my kids’ mouths, like my son scolding his sister or brother with a total lack of grace. I can hear the tone as an echo of my own. If you aren’t raising kids right now, you aren’t exempt. We have so much more influence on our friends and adult family members than we realize. If we choose grace, they are much more likely to do the same. Instead of bringing others down, “let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Heb. 10:24).
I still can’t leave this subject, although I’m finished for today. I will continue to post about this next week, so I hope you’ll come back!
P.S. I was able to read a post about a similar topic this week, written by my talented writing friend, Rosemarie Fitzsimmons. You might remember her from the guest post she did for me a little bit ago. Her post is also about a kind of weed and the metaphor it is–a weed with which I’m very familiar because of my ten years in Knoxville, Tennessee: kudzu. I didn’t know the history of this plant before reading this. I hope you go check out her post What’s Green and Hurts All Over–it’s a good one!
0 thoughts on “The Many Ways Sin is Like a Deadly Weed: Part Three”
Excellent, Heather. What is “seen” is what we usually pay the most attention to. I love the analogy of the front yard weeds vs. the backyard weeds. Powerful post on how we need to let the Spirit search our hearts in the hidden places, weeding out that which affects everything we say and do. Thank you for sharing. ~Blessings, Melanie
Thanks, Melanie! Yes, the Spirit is the one who will ultimately show us which weeds need pulling the most.
I can definitely identify! I was just thinking today about how hard I can be on my kids. I wonder sometimes if I offer enough grace, or what kind of example I am to them. They seem to be hard on each other as well. 🙂
Yes, I’ve found maintaining a high standard with grace for my kids is a hard undertaking, but it’s so important. I do better when I remember how much I have needed and still need forgiveness from my own Heavenly Father.
Somehow you’ve managed to make me read the whole post… Front yard weed versus the back yard weed… Wow! What an obvious way to describe things that are not on track…. Did well…. Loved reading
Thank you! What a compliment!
It is i who should thank you, Heather Bock…. Good passage
Heather, the Weed posts have been very powerful, but this one spoke to me directly. As you know, I wrote about Spiritual Spring Cleaning and your post coupled with what God was showing me about those things that others may not see (back yard, junk drawer etc.) but HE DOES. And the best thing is, He wants to HEAL us of those things hidden within that separate and/or distance us from His loving grace.
Yes, what you wrote was pretty similar in meaning to mine! Another friend of mine wrote a similar one that she just posted this week, too. I love how the Spirit leads us separately to get the message He desires out to different people!
I know it, Heather! God is so amazing like that. I just love it!
I’ve enjoyed your series. I think there’s a reason people transitioned from the see through chain link fence to the hide-it-all wood fences….I hope what I offer the world is still the see through variety.
Unfortunately, we have the low picket fence variety, so ours can still be seen! I also hope what I offer in the other sense is what we have!
Love this scripture and this sentence … we all need to be a bit more transparent. Good post, Heather!
“For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light” (Lk. 8:17).
Not only do our secret sins get out past our gates, but they are catching. If I truly love those closest to me, I don’t just weed for their aesthetic pleasure and house value. I weed so their yards don’t become infested like mine.
Thank you–yes, we do need more transparency, and we need to make sure we don’t let sins grow just because they’re hidden.
Pulling sinful weeds is painful. After I read this, God showed me some weeds that need pulling in my life. Thank you for this post.
Wow–that’s amazing! I’m so thankful God used this post. May He come in and do the hard work for you.
Heather, I’ve loved these posts on weeds! Great analogies and so practical. I can’t wait for next week’s post!
Thank you! I THINK next week is the last one in the series!
Such a good point, that we ourselves aren’t the only ones affected by our sins. Thanks for sharing this thoughtful analogy!
This is really good–and so important to remember that our sin is not just ours–that it has consequences that effect all of those around us. It is so tempting to hold on to some of our sin, thinking it is only us it is affecting, but it is never affecting just us. We don’t have a yard, but we live in an apartment complex where our neighbors behavior is affecting all us in the same building. What seems like it should be contained to his own space, just isn’t. We are all affected by one another.
This is a good series, thank you Heather.
Thank you, Melissa! I can imagine how neighbors can affect each other in a complex like that! We were afraid the volume of our kids would negatively affect everyone, which is one reason we didn’t end up in one! 😁