Monday, September 23, 2013

The Blessing of Good Neighbors

Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.  Romans 15:2

I have some new neighbors.  They are the sweetest people ever.  They have transformed the house they bought and yard into a beautiful place.  They are excellent landscape artists and know just the right plants to get and the right fertilizer, weed killer, etc.  In talking to them I have expressed my frustration to keep anything in my flowerbed other than grass and weeds.  They have been giving me tips and even came over when I was not home and filled my flowerbed with extra dirt – because it needed it badly and that is the kind of people they are.  If they can help, they will.  The best neighbors ever.  I have grown to love them in the short time I have known them.

The other day I was out working in the flowerbed, trying to keep the grass out that was sprouting in the dirt they filled in.  My neighbor saw me and came over to give me a bit of advice that I have been pondering ever since.  I was using my garden claw, twisting and turning and grinding up the sprouts of grass that were beginning to come up.  I have plans so I have to keep the grass out!  I am going to have flowers and plants in there!  I am closer than I have ever been so I have to keep it primed and ready.  My neighbor came over and graciously told me that they have a tiller and they can till that up in five minutes with no problem, just stop and let them come do it.  I, feeling like they have done above and beyond the act of being kind already, said I could do it; they didn’t need to do that.  She talked to me a little more about the possibility of actually having grass (a lawn!) and what shrubs would be good to buy now to plant in front of the windows.  She once again said that they would come over in the next day or two and bring the tiller and work the flowerbed over for me.  I again said I could do it that they didn’t need to do that.  She finally said to me, “Look, you are really just spreading it and making it worse!  We need to till it up and get the roots and all out.”  In that moment it struck me.  I laughed and told her “That is the story of my life!” 

That is the story of my life and many of you too I suspect. Aren’t there a lot of us out there who are just stirring up the soil, turning the weeds and grass inside out, outside in, but never getting to the root of the problem?  We are just spreading the bad all over the place instead of getting it out.  I laughed at myself thinking that is just like me.  I think I am doing a good thing, the right thing, and all I am really doing is making things worse because I am not facing the truth.  I am not getting to the root of the issue. 

Like the grass and weeds growing where you don’t want them, the bad weeds of life can take over your heart in no time if you aren’t careful.  Don’t let them take root.  Both weeds and bad habits of the heart are destructive. Weeds choke out the good things growing in the garden, so also weeds in the heart choke out the good life that is there for the Christian.  Weeds choke out the nourishment needed for the garden to grow, and sin chokes out the nourishment our hearts need 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.

What are the issues in your life?  What are you ignoring, turning under, in an attempt to fix things the best way you know how?  Give them to God!  Do it now.  He can help you.  He knows the ending to your story already.  He is waiting and willing to lead you through this, to get to the roots and annihilate the weeds completely.  After all, on your own you are only spreading it and making things worse. 

Scripture to Claim:
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.  1 Corinthians 15:58
Submitted by Lara Cook

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