There’s a route around my neighborhood that I like to jog (Full disclosure, I haven’t actually jogged there in a while, but I like to.) Along it, there is a stretch of road with a plethora of plants. One day as I was making my way passed them, I was thinking how nice the plants looked until I got closer and realized that that the city had begun the process of removing them. What looked so good from a distance, turned out to be nothing more than weeds. Overgrown and unkempt, their initial appearance deceived me into believing that they were something good, when in reality, not only were they unhealthy, they were preventing any good growth.
What is true of these unruly plants, can also be true in our own lives. Something looks good, when in reality, we are substituting something that is actually good for something that looks close in appearance. We want to believe that the “weeds” are just as useful, after all – weeds are plants too. But instead of adding into our lives, the weeds not only detract, they prevent the addition of good. They may appear to be innocuous, but in reality they are causing the slow demise of our soul.
Perhaps this is why through Scripture we are commanded to be vigilant, for as any gardener knows weeds appear any time you’re not diligent about their removal. Because they can be confused for a plant, it’s important that we are discerning about that which is actually beneficial and that which just appears to be. We must be careful to weed our lives of anything that inhibits our walk with God…and to plant good things in their stead.