The other day, I was walking along our driveway, admiring the line of hostas. They were looking full and beautiful. But, I saw some strange looking un-hosta-like leaves bursting through the full bundles. Upon closer examination, I realized the leaves were attached to a tall, thick, stalk: a weed. There were hundreds of these weeds all lush and green disguising themselves among the hostas.
At first glance, it was hard to tell they were a weed; the leaves were green and almost pretty, but beneath the leaves was an ugly, garish stalk, and at the base a thick root was gripping beneath the dirt with all its might. I promptly walked the line of hostas, grasping each weed at the base and pulling it up root and all.
Now, if you've ever been put to the task of pulling weeds then you know that first of all it's dirty, back-breaking work, and second there's a rule: to get rid of a weed, you have to get to the root. If you just pop off the stalk, then the unseen root will continue to flourish and produce another weed. It may seem to be gone...but underneath the soil, the weed is gaining strength and nourishment to grow again.
As I walked the line of flowerbeds with frustration bred determination, pulling and tossing the weeds in a pile, I began to think about how this scenario applied to my life...because I'm dramatic like that.
How many times do I allow seemingly innocent thoughts grow in my heart? A little jealousy here. A little anger there. A touch of resentment. Just a bit of envy or unforgiveness. A dash of bitterness. It's little lies, posing themselves as truths.
I just ignore them at first...sort of just shake them off. I tell myself they are harmless. Everyone gets those feelings at one time or another. But, before long, just like a weed, they are consuming and rooted deep in my heart. It becomes difficult to distinguish them as something that doesn't belong. Before long, it's out of control, creating a mess, and I'm left feeling unworthy and beaten down. It usually takes God coming along, getting His hands dirty, rooting it up and reminding me through the truths of His word that those things don't belong in my heart. I'm reminded that the longer I allow them residency inwardly, the more they become reflected outwardly.
"For as he thinks in his heart, so is he."
"As in water, face reflects face, so a mans heart reveals the man."
As painful as it is to realize what I've stored up, the sense of relief from releasing it is far greater. To allow God's truth to settle, grow and flourish, making me more like Him becomes the catalyst for freeing my heart.
"He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water"
I want to reside in truth. Not just believing in Jesus...but believing Jesus. Taking Him at His word, and allowing that truth to settle over me. No more believing lies about myself, spinning tales about not being effective or worthy, or allowing sin to grip my heart.
My heart will not be fertile ground for weeds.
"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy,
meditate on those things."