“He put another parable before them, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, “Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?” He said to them, “An enemy has done this.” So the servants said to him, “Then do you want us to go and gather them?” But he said, “No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, ‘Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”” (Matthew 13:24-30 ESV).
It’s no secret. We all know that there are people all around us, even in our churches, who are weeds. They are the ones who seem to always bring us down, spiritually, whenever we are “up.” They discourage us when we are finding our courage. They breed doubt when the seeds of faith begin to spring up within us.
Their actions reveal that they alone sit on the throne of their lives. They won’t even grant God an audience. With their mouths they exalt tolerance, though it is never extended to those who profess Christ. They will hear any argument unless it involves Jesus.
When the weeds grow in our society, they can make life uncomfortable. When they grow in the Church, they tear holes in our soul. Some weeds produce beautiful blooms. In the world they attract praise. But in the Church they produce spores that weaken our spiritual immune system.
Weeds can have extensive root systems. Some, like dandelions, will grow back if the entire root is not extracted. Others pull up everything around them when removed.
So what’s a disciple to do???
The weeds in the world constitute our mission field. But unlike with our lawns, these weeds are not our enemies. Our mission is not to seek and destroy. Rather, we are to search out and fertilize. We are to spread the love of Jesus with our lives and with our words. We are to let the Holy Spirit work in and through us to change the weed to a fruit tree.
I sometimes think it is easier to love the world’s weeds than the weeds within the Church. The weeds in the world are mostly ignorant. The weeds in the Church, however, know better. They have heard the Word. The Truth has been proclaimed to them, yet they choose to wear it on the outside all the while denying its power within.
While the challenge is greater with the weeds of the Church, the task is the same. We live our lives, as best as we can, demonstrating, both without and within, the love of Jesus. We order our lives to be consistent. We walk with integrity, on Sunday morning and every other day of the week. While a disciple uses words to win souls, some souls need to see consistent lives of faith and love before the words will be heard.
Until that final day, the Church will continue to deal with weeds. There’s no getting around it. But until that day, we have been tasked with holiness, and we have been tasked with bearing fruit. Weed killer takes life. The love of Christ transforms life. It’s up to us to decide whether we will be weeds or fruit trees. Will we stand tall and strong in our own strength or allow the Holy Spirit to use us while we walk through the weeds.
Blessings on your weekend!