So, there you go… after days, months or even years of doing this one thing, you finally realized that it’s been taking the best out of you and you did not notice it. I’m telling you that it’s really the way how sin operates in our lives. It would start with a thought that it is just okay, then you do it the second time thinking it’s still okay, then you’ll do it more frequently like it’s something that everyone does anyway, until you suffer from its consequences and then you’ll say “I didn’t see that”.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to condemn you because of your sin (I don’t have that right), because in fact, we all go through that same cycle. What I’m trying to point out is the fact that all kinds of sin start from things that we thought are “okay” and we’ll realize soon that they are not. That’s just how the enemy works (2 Corinthians 11:3). We have the wisdom to determine the differences between good and bad but we are being deceived to believe otherwise and when the bait worked, we become slaves.
Just Like a Weed
When I was a child, one of the key chores that I do with my brother is to pull-out the weeds from our lawn. I would often ask grandma, why they keep on growing when no one is actually planting them. My grandma often says that they are opportunistic plants that would grow wherever there is space. You do not notice but they are just there underneath and when favorable conditions were met, they become invasive – even to concrete causing destruction.
Open spaces, huh. Now, think about the sins that you are guilty of. Most of these for sure came out of emptiness — that longing to fill the gaps with substitutes which seems the right fit at first, but eventually would fall out because they are not meant to be there. It’s not easy to notice that because they seem satisfying at first until it reveals itself. Just like the weeds, they steal the nutrients meant for real plants — those that are supposed to bear fruit to your life.
Pull Out the Weeds
I can clearly recall the experience. Pulling out the weeds while still small is somehow a satisfying task. However, pulling out those that has grown with deeper roots is terrible — it even hurts! Same thing when it comes to dealing with our sins. The earlier we figure out that there is an entry point for the enemy to work, the easier it is to shut the door. But if we allow it to enter our life and consume more space, the harder it gets to dismiss them.
Yes, pulling out the weeds might be hard. But something makes it harder — that is when you are actually taking care of them. I can still remember when there is this one “plant” which suddenly grew beside the tomatoes that my grandma has been waiting for a long time to bear fruit. This plant has leaves similar to that of succulents and it spread quite fast until it covered a good portion of the soil. Grandma thought it’s a good plant because it looks good and creates a fresh appeal so she instructed not to pull them out, until the tomato plant died. That’s when we found out that the mysterious plant is called “purslane”. Well, this is not as harmful as we might think because some people say that it’s edible but my point here is, it killed the tomato. It became a competitor for water and just because we did not recognize it as a weed, it was able to kill the plant which is meant to bear fruit. Unless you admit and recognize a sin, it will spread and cause harm until you say “I didn’t see that”.
So what can we do?
We have to pull them out as soon as we recognize them. Here are 5 steps to deal with your sins.
Recognize its presence
You cannot fight against an enemy unless you know it’s an enemy. Just like that mysterious plant, what appears to be beautiful might be deceiving. Things that we enjoy are not easy to give up unless we are set free from deception and recognize that it’s something that needs some dealing. Do not cover-up sins or try to justify them. Psalm 139:22 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me”. Ask for God’s help for you to see your sinfulness and be humble enough to accept it. It requires self-awareness and acceptance because each of us has the tendency to justify our sins through our goodness, but like what the Bible says, no one on earth is righteous and has never fallen into sin (Ecclesiastes 7:20, Romans 3:10, Psalm 14:1, Psalm 14:3, Psalm 53:1, Psalm 53:3, Romans 3:23 and lot more).
Set your heart unto God
When the weeds are scattered, the easiest way to kill it is to find where most of the roots are. In our body, it’s our heart. The Bible says that it is deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9) and we should guard it because everything we do flows from it (Proverbs 4:23). A heart that is focused in God is like a good soil that yields fruit (Luke 8:15).
Meditate on His Word
Once your heart is already focused on God, it will be ready to receive instructions. A good heart hears the Word, receives the Word, and obeys the Word. According to 2 Timothy 3:16-17, the Bible is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that we will be thoroughly equipped for every good work – the fruit of our faith. I’ve read a quote from somewhere saying, “Fill your mind with God’s Word and you will have no room for Satan’s lies”. The Bible further promises that if we meditate on the Word, then we will prosper and succeed in everything that we do. Great news right?
Battle Through Prayer
Of course, the struggle is real and while pulling out the weeds, you meet see something else that would stop you from putting it into completion. Christ himself was tempted, but instead of giving into temptations, he prayed (Hebrews 5:7-8). Prayer is the backbone of our faith, and without it, there will be a gap in our relationship with the Lord. Instead of shying away out of guilt when we sin, why not try to pray more! After all, the grace of God does not see you as a sinner worthy for condemnation but a sinner deserving to be loved through Christ’s righteousness.
After doing the first four, it’s time to put them into action. Each of us should be accountable enough for our actions and be aware that obedience is our response to the grace that we have received. You might have heard of the word “repentance” which means “to turn” and “to return”! Yeah, you read it right. There should be a conscious effort “to turn from evil”, and “to turn to the good”.
Weeding can be life changing although this is not an easy process. Along the way, you will encounter a lot of setbacks but what is important is your willingness to look at the thing that you thought were nothing and begin to take small steps to address them. I pray for God’s guidance to be upon you and may the Lord grant you a humble and willing Spirit.