Yesterday and today I spent some time in my family’s garden. We didn’t actually plant anything this year, but about a week ago, our neighbor noticed a few “wild” tomato plants growing among the monstrous weeds. My dad and I had weeded a portion of the garden previously, but it was still very overgrown. Because I didn’t have much to do, and I like to see the “fruits” of my labor, I decided to work on weeding the garden again. Some of the weeds came up easily, roots and all. But some were stubborn, the stems breaking off near the ground. I knew that unless I dug all the roots out, the weeds would simply grow back from the small pieces of them left in the ground. I weeded almost the whole garden, and this morning worked on getting some of the smaller roots out of a portion of it.
It was this morning that the thought occurred to me that trying to get rid of sin is like trying to get rid of weeds. Unless you carefully root out every last piece of it from your life, it will keep popping back up in your life. And sometimes, even when you think you’re doing pretty good, that you’ve rooted sin out of your life, some little part or parcel of it remains. Suddenly, you become aware that your garden is populated with weeds. Not the same sins as the ones you already pulled out, but sins that have the same source, the same roots. Unless you extract the roots of these sins, unless you address the underlying problems and weaknesses in your life, sins will keep pepping up in your life.
Granted, this isn’t the best thought out illustration, but I figured it works. I know Jesus compared the kingdom of God to a mustard seed, a weed, but I don’t know if sin was ever said to be like a weed in the Bible. I’m sure other many other Christians older and wiser than I have used this illustration, but it was made quite personal to me as I squatted in my own garden, dirt under my fingernails and a bundle of weeds in my hand.