We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.2 Thessalonians 1:3
We’ve been gone for a week. The bad news is no rain fell the entire time we were gone. Everything is so dry, the grass is starting to turn brown. The good news is no rain fell the entire time we were gone, the grass shouldn’t need mowed.
And as we pull into the drive we realize we were correct, the grass does not need cut; however, the weeds are more than a foot high. I’m not sure how this phenomenon actually materializes. How can it be that the grass does not grow at all, but the weeds look awful? I suppose if we’d spent more money on better grass seed, the lawn wouldn’t look so bad. As it is we (OK, my husband) must spend all afternoon cutting grass that doesn’t really need cut in order to cut down the weeds so the yard will look decent.
It caused me to consider the old saying “You’re growing like a bad weed.” I understand where it came from now, but I also realize I’ll never use that phrase to describe anyone I care for. Bad weeds grow in spite of having any nurturing or feeding. They grow without water and without care. They grow fast and furious. And unfortunately, they grow wild and ugly.
How easy to compare to children. Children who receive nurture and care grow more naive and innocent. They will generally be younger looking and kinder to others. However, children left to themselves, made to survive alone in this world, tend to grow up quickly. They become street smart and world wise. They usually look older than their years and develop bad habits quite young. Just like good grass and domesticated animals, children need years of tender loving care. They need to be well nourished physically, mentally and spiritually. Just like grass in the middle of summer, a child who isn’t well cared for and fed will either wither and die or become a weed.
A similar phenomenon is true of our spiritual lives. Without regular prayer, study and devotion our spirits will either wither and die or turn into a weed. As a weed, we might grow, but we’ll grow fast and furious. As the Bible says, we’ll become puffed up with our knowledge (or lack of it) and be obnoxious Christians. Just like those weeds in our yard that are much bigger and tougher than the grass, we’ll think we’re better than our well fed friends (especially when they’re going through a dry spell). Unfortunately, the Bible says if we allow ourselves to be weeds, we’ll only be good for stubble for the fire.
It’s imperative that we grow, but it’s even more important that we grow properly. If you aren’t growing, you’re probably dying. Unless you’re growing like a bad weed!