My boxwood shrubs were neatly trimmed. The sprouting weeds underneath them gone, and the crawling ivy threatening to choke them ripped away. A fresh layer of pine straw covered the ground.
My son helped me take weed control a step further by lining the area with rolls of Weed Block before adding new soil. The stuff claimed to “prevent weeds from growing.” I’d finally found a solution to the unpleasant problem of weeds, or so I thought. As it turned out, I hadn’t eradicated the weeds. I’d only slowed their growth for a while.
The block kept the devils under control for a few months, but eventually they pushed through the plastic. By the time the following spring rolled around, the weeds were back. And they seemed thicker and stronger than ever.
Weeds and Sin
Trying to prevent weeds by covering them is how we handle the sin in our life. We pray, “Father, forgive me of my sin,” and hope that covers it. We fail to confess specific sin because we’re ashamed, or as in the case of my weeds, because the work is hard and unpleasant to face.
I wanted a One and Done with my weeds. I wanted to wipe them out with ground cover, but this didn’t get to the root of the problem. It only delayed growth for a while before the weeds were back. I had to consistently pull them to get rid of them.
When we fail to consistently admit our sins to God, they spread, gaining traction. Christians justify this because we’re not committing “big” sins such as murder, robbery, or adultery. But soon, the little ones—impatience, partiality, envy, judgment, and others— overtake our garden of life, choking out the fruit of the Spirit.
We must deal with the sin in our life before the fruit of the Spirit will flourish.
Three Steps to Weed Sin from Your Life
1. Acknowledge, Admit, and Confess
Without acknowledging we have a problem, we won’t get help. We have to own up to our specific sins and confess them to God. To accomplish this, we do the hard work of recognizing and admitting them to ourselves. And we need to do it daily.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 NIV)
After confessing, we do more than ask God’s forgiveness. We work to avoid the sin. Repenting from sin means turning away from what is wrong and turning to God. It means we resist sin, big and small, and obey Him.
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” (Acts 3:19 NIV)
3. Ask for Help
Just as I asked my son for help with my weeds, we need God’s help with sin. First, we ask Him to reveal our sin to us. We ask Him for the strength to overcome it before it takes root. Then we consistently nourish the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives through daily prayer and Bible reading.
“Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live.” Romans 8:12-13 NLT).
Weeding our spiritual garden will lead to the life of abundance Jesus promised.
Copyright © 2020 Candyce Carden, used with permission.