Today, I was out working in my garden. I remember when I first started gardening, I did not know what a plant was and what was a weed. I did not know what to pull up and what to leave. So, some plants I let grow and found out later, they were weeds. I hardly ever pulled out a true plant, as I was so concerned about doing that, I left it if I had any doubt.
When I was vegetable gardening, I was struck by how often the weed, mimicked the look of the plant—the difference was, the weed did not bear any “fruit” or vegetable, as the case may be.
I think the “fruit” of the Holy Spirit growing in our lives, and the sin growing in our lives, can also look similar at first.
At first, it may be difficult to tell the two apart. Pride and obsession, a sin in our lives, can look a lot like, self-control, which is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. How can you tell them apart? I think it is by how we treat people in the process of life. If we are hateful, impatient, mean and/or yelling, as we do the things that need to be done—we are probably being motivated out of pride, and obsession. We can even appear to be loving on the outside, but on the inside, we are filled with angst.
If we are kind and loving to others, on the inside and the outside, as we carry out the duties of the day—then we are being motivated by the Holy Spirit, who also produces patience, love and kindness in our lives.
In fact, I believe that God is more concerned about our love for Him and our love for others, than anything else. This is why Jesus says, the two greatest commandments are, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, and Love your neighbor as yourself.”
In these days of quarantine—when we are around the same people every day, and nerves are frayed, people haven’t been sleeping, anxiety about the future is growing, we need to rely on the Holy Spirit to grow the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Click here to read about how to be filled, (controlled and empowered) by the Holy Spirit.)
I am seeing a great deal of frustration on social media. I get it—people are scared, and they are scared about different things.
We all think that we are right and feel justified in our feelings of disdain towards those who disagree, but Hatred is a weed. It is the opposite of love. And it needs to be pulled out. It is an obvious weed that everyone can recognize. It is the weed, that infected the nation of Germany and many other nations before World War II and spread and spread and spread, until the entire world was engulfed in a war.
There is no justification in God’s eyes for this hatred people have towards other people. This is what led to 6 million Jews being killed in concentration camps. This is what led to mass slaughters of people in Russia and China and so, so many places around the world. The people that took power, thought they were justified in killing anyone they considered a threat. They thought they were justified in their hatred of that person or persons who had another point of view– as if disagreement meant that the other person/persons was somehow subhuman. This was the thinking of the Nazis. This is the work of Satan. This is evil. We must recognize this hatred for what it is, and we must not allow it to live in our hearts and lives.
We may not all agree with each other, yet we can all be kind to each other. We can love one another, as we rely on the Holy Spirit of God. God has not changed—He is still telling us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. As we turn our lives over to Him—the Master Gardener—He will grow that love in our lives. We can trust Him. We are His Garden!! He is committed to growing beautiful “fruit” in our lives and pulling out the weeds, and He never has to guess which is the plant and which is the weed. Someday His will – which is everything that is good, acceptable and perfect—and abounding in love—will be done on earth as it is in Heaven!!
So Be Encouraged!!