Have you ever driven in to one of those communities where every lawn looks like it should be featured in a magazine? I love them and I hate them. I love them because I love lush grass, but I “hate” them because I have lots of weeds in my yard. Our faith, our lives, and the church are quite like those lawns.
My wife and I bought a new house last year and not only was the inside in need of updating and repair, but so was the lawn. It was the victim of nearly 30 years of neglect, according to the neighbor.
Rarely watered. Barely mowed. The bushes were overgrown. The trees were unruly. I think worst of all though, are the weeds. (Yes, I realized I changed tenses there. It’s because the weeds are still there.)
I have sprayed them, put down weed and feed, and plucked them by hand. Just when we feel like we are getting a leg up on the weeds in the yard, it seems like every raindrop carries a new batch.
Lawns are kind of like our lives in Christ, both individually and communally.
Your Own Lawn
Envision your life like a lawn. Having a lush green lawn will cost you something. You either have to spend time pulling the weeds by hand, or money spraying weed killer or spreading weed and feed.
If you want a deeper life in Christ it will cost you something, your time and your life. It’s a daily dying to the self. It’s a daily practicing of the presence. It’s an investment in spending time with the Lord in order to know His heart.
The weeds are the “sin that so easily entangles,” and the grass is the abundant life of Christ. We have to kill the weed at the root or it will just keep reemerging and choke out the grass.
Now, I’m not saying that if you have weeds you have demons…even though they are of the devil. Ha! I am saying this.
If you don’t kill sin at the root in your life, it will just keep coming back. It will multiply, just like the weeds in your yard. Matthew and Luke give an account of an unclean spirit that returns after being cast out, and brings with it seven spirits more wicked than itself.
You cannot “will” a sin away. You cannot “force” a sin away in your own strength. You can pluck, and spray, and spread all you want, but until you allow Christ, by way of the Holy Spirit, to illuminate the root of the sin it will just keep coming back.
It may lay dormant for a little while, but eventually that root will sprout. That is unless we put down spiritual weed and feed, which is Holy Spirit.
Christ is the ultimate weed killer for the yard of your spirit.
Think of the collection of lawns in your neighborhood as the body of Christ. Each lawn represents another believer, another part of the body. It is not the one lawn that makes a neighborhood beautiful, it is the collection of lawns that portray the beauty.
Each lawn is unique: different grasses, different flowers, different trees; all representing the uniqueness that Christ has place in the members of His body.
Why do those neighborhoods with magnificent lawns look so great? It’s because they worked together as a community to kill all of the weeds. They sprayed, plucked, and spread in order to make their community look great.
What good does it do to kill the weeds in your lawn, if your neighbor’s are covered with weeds? The weeds will spread. The winds will throw the seeds into your yard. It eventually corrupts the neighborhood, just as Paul says “a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough” (Gal. 5:9).
As the body of Christ we are to not only care for ourselves, but also for the rest of the body.
I feel bad because my neighbors have this lush beautiful grass (with a lush water bill I’m sure). I’m doing my best to remove the weeds from my yard so they don’t infiltrate and spoil their grass they’ve worked hard to clear of weeds.
As the body of Christ you have to allow the Holy Spirit (the best weed and feed) to clear your yard of weeds, and then in turn work through you to strengthen and clear the lawns of your neighbors as well. (As iron sharpens iron)
We are the body of Christ. Jesus gave us the command to love your neighbor as yourself, but Paul one-ups that in his letter to the Philippians (2:3). He says consider/esteem/regard others better than yourself. Wow!
What good does it do to succeed yourself, while your brother gets covered up in sin?
Lets us consider how we can spur our brothers and sisters on to love and good works in Christ. May our prayer be for the Lord to search the Lawn of our life and kill every weed that so easily entangles. May He allow us to help our neighbor and strengthen the whole community of Christ so He can receive the glory.