I finally looked up the real name for a weed I have been dealing with in my garden for years. It’s called the honeyvine milkweed. But it’s existence in my garden has been anything but sweet to me. It has nothing to do with the milk and honey of the promised land.
And here all along I’ve been calling it the sin weed!
And it’s not just in MY garden, either. The beautiful rosebushes in our church’s landscaping start off the year looking great! Then sometime around the middle of June, a sneaky vine creeps up out of the middle, and before you know it, it starts taking over.
There is a reason, of course, that I’ve been calling it the sin weed.
The root of this vine is fleshy but easily breakable. So, if you just yank it out like a regular weed, the root stays behind. And starts a new vine. You can yank it up a hundred times, and it will always come back.
But that’s not all. I’ve spent hours in the hot sun bending over till my back can’t take it anymore, year after year, digging under the root, and crumbling the dirt, and trying to get rid of every single tiny piece of the root. But each time, a little piece eludes me. This morning I led the attack again in my vegetable garden. I think I must have dug up 7 or 8 of those obnoxious weeds.
As with most plants, the taller you let it grow, the deeper and/or more widespread the root will be. I’ve never let them reach their max height of 33 feet, so I’m hoping that none of the roots have reached their max depth of 6 feet. But they’ve definitely gone deeper than the normal reach of my shovel.
So, just in case you would like some clarification, here’s why I call it a sin weed.
- It is hard to get rid of once you’ve let it grow – like sin.
- It spreads via the root system to other parts of the garden (family/friends).
- It also spreads via seeds to plague the neighbors and maybe even other neighborhoods.
- It overtakes and hides the beauty of the cultivated plants.
- The root hides under the surface just like sin hides in our hearts, ready to pop up again any time we give it a little encouragement (water, sunshine).
Any sin can become like this if we allow it to grow in our hearts, but Scripture actually specifically mentions a few sin roots.
“For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Tim 6:10 NASB
Greed. Attachment to our money, stuff, pleasures that money can buy, etc. We cannot love both God and money. (Matthew 6:24)
And Colossians 3:5 calls greed a form of idolatry.
Deuteronomy 29:18 also mentions idolatry:
“whose heart turns away today from the Lord our God, to go and serve the [false] gods of these nations; so that there will not be among you a root [of idolatry] bearing poisonous fruit and wormwood (bitterness).” Deuteronomy 29:18 (Amplified Version)
The root of idolatry bearing what kind of fruit? Not something you want to eat or feed to those you love. But that’s what comes from choosing something or someone over God.
“See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;” Heb. 12:15 NASB
I could pick this verse apart and do a whole blog post on it. Our continued nursing of anger, hurt, and unforgiveness does NOT stay hidden. It ends up getting spewed up on innocent bystanders that had nothing to do with the original person who upset us.
We need to be vigilant, no matter how much work it takes and no matter how many hours in the hot sun to dig these sin roots up. It is worth it, no matter how many times we fail to get the whole root. We need to keep trying.
We need to expose these roots to the light of God’s Word and bring them to God for Him to deal with properly.
After all, God is the only one that can handle the poison and the bitterness of these roots and not be harmed by it.
And He is the only One that can get rid of the bitterness and poison and replace it with the sweetness of His Love.
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