I was once visiting with an American mission group in Haiti. One of the leaders knowing that I had a background in agriculture asked my advice on the best spot in their compound for a garden. The answer was easy, “Wherever grass grows the best!”
Wherever grass grows so will the vegetables. Why? Because where vegetables grow, so will the weeds! Weeds are an inevitable problem in a garden. If the soil is good, weeds will desire to take up residence and build a neighborhood. In my experience, keeping the weeds at bay is a constant battle and if left to itself, the weeds will win.
Often when we pray, we ask God for good things. We pray for health, provision, blessings, and the list can go on for a while. All that is good, but what about the bad stuff. We need God’s help in eliminating the weeds in our heart garden.
I am always striving to be more like Jesus. I know that is a high bar, but I have found the higher I aim, the higher I jump. This morning as I was praying, I asked the Lord to pull some weeds out of my heart’s garden. “Lord, please, help me not to be greedy, arrogant, complacent, cynical, or lazy.
“Lord, pull up by the roots that nasty weed called greed.” I desire to have a giving heart and it is the opposite of greed. It is just too easy to slip into greed. We can become like a naughty kid in a candy store, “Ooh, ooh! I want that!!
I love this paradoxical Proverb where the more we give, the more God gives us, so we can give more. Then the one who greedily holds back usually ends up with less. “There is one who scatters, yet increases more; And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty” (Proverbs 11:24 NKJV).
Only the arrogant see the beauty in their own self-importance. To the rest of us, it looks awful. True humility is a beautiful thing, and the truly humble do not see it in themselves. Pride has a certain ‘puke’ factor, it is sickening!
The Bible has a lot to say about pride and arrogance, here’s my favorite, “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18 NKJV). Be careful, this comes true.
I have learned a technique to keep pride at bay. When something good happens that may have a tendency for me to be prideful; I switch the script, and use it to be thankful instead of prideful. This method puts the emphasis on Jesus and not on me.
Complacency is self-satisfaction coupled with blindness of our own faults. It makes us have a happy sailing on a boat with a leak.
In the days of King Hezekiah, the prophet Isaiah told him of the terrible things that would befall his people after his life. His reply was filled with complacency, “So Hezekiah said to Isaiah, ‘The word of the LORD which you have spoken is good!’ For he said, ‘At least there will be peace and truth in my days’” (Isaiah 39:8 NKJV). He really loved his kids and grandkids! [SARCASM INTENDED]
I want to be content in my present but not satisfied going into the future.
A cynic is someone who sees the worst in people and has a critical take on most things. Most cynical people seem to be miserable and usually negative about any good in others. I do not want to be that guy!! I do not want to be an old bitter man!
Here is the antidote for cynicism in the scripture, “[Love] rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NKJV).
In the South, we have a compliment for hard workers, “There’s not a lazy bone in his body!” I know some folks who need a calcium pill. Some folks work hard, others hardly work.
I have found that when I am feeling down emotionally, if I get up and do something, I feel better when the job is done. I have also learned through my many years on earth, I need to do the hard task first and the easy task last.
This scripture will get you out of bed, “The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich” (Proverbs 13:4 NKJV).
Do yourself a favor, if you are battling laziness, go to your Bible app and type “lazy” in your search box. Then read all the verses in Proverbs about laziness.
Lord, help me to be diligent and not lazy!
Weed your heart garden! Some need chopping down, others need to be pulled up by the roots. Happy Harvest!
Yours on the Journey,
Harry L. Whitt