When I was a kid, I never wanted to do my homework. Because I refused to do my homework, my teacher would send letters home to my parents who would then punish me, the most common way being grounded. But I also had to go outside every day and pull weeds until sunset. Doing this was so agitating, and so exhausting, and I did not care for doing it whatsoever; but It was beneficial because it helped me to grow in character. Weed-pulling is not something that can be done just once. If I pull weeds today, after a period of time those weeds are going to come back. This is very much like our spiritual life; left unattended, things can grow and spread throughout my spiritual character — things that should not be there and can separate me from God. If I am going to keep myself pure and righteous, I have to be willing to metaphorically pull the weeds to clean up my act. So what might those weeds be? They can be anything: weeds of apathy, weeds of anger, or weeds of gluttony. Weeds are anything that develop and take away from what we need in our development as a Christian. Some of these weeds are very hard to pull up, but they must be dealt with.
For example, in John 4:24, Jesus says, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” What that means for us is that we should have the care and attentiveness to ensure that when we worship God, we worship Him exactly the way He commands us. When we worship God, we do so from a place of love, respect, and reverence for what’s being done. Letting apathy grow in my spiritual life, however, will prevent me from that. If I am apathetic, when I am at worship service, I am only there to check off the list, or I may be there just to keep up appearances. Whatever reason I do have, it is not for the reason I should have. First Timothy 3:15 tells me that I am supposed to treat the church as “the pillar and ground of the truth,” not somewhere to just keep appearances.
Anger is another example of a difficult weed to uproot in our spiritual lives,. We all have encounters whether it’s with other people, unmet expectations, etc. Whatever the situation is, we become consumed with anger and act out in a way that is not righteous, leading to sin. James talks about the manner in which we are to deal with anger: “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20). If acting on our anger doesn’t lead to righteousness, then why do I act on it? More than that, why do I still hold all this anger and animosity in my heart? Galatians 5:22-23 and 2 Peter 1:5-7, two of the greatest passages showing how we should live as Christians, both mention that we must have and the add to our self- control and long-suffering. That means there will be times when we are angry, but I am in charge of my emotions, and I have to be willing to be patient with whatever I encounter.
So what weeds are still left in your spiritual life? They don’t have to be huge weeds whose roots run deep; they can be small and easy to pull up. But the point is that they must be uprooted, otherwise there is something keeping you from being in total fellowship with God. If it is apathy that is in your life, then you need to be reminded of how it felt when you first realized the peace and salvation that was granted to you when you became a child of God. Let yourself be filled with that passion and zeal once again. If it’s anger that has dug itself into your life, you have to let go, because it is not doing you any good. In closing, I hope these scriptures will help you, so “that
you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17b-19). Be filled with the goodness of God by reading His word, and that will allow you more than anything to have peace and a life of joy.