Matthew 13:29-30 – "No," he answered, "because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn." (NIV)
In southern Georgia, the mild climate in fall and winter provides ideal time to enjoy working in the yard and garden. There are many lovely plants that lend themselves beautifully to this season. The colourful pansy is one of them. Planted in the fall after the hot temperatures have receded, it will grow until the burning temperatures of late April chase it away. Unfortunately, there are winter weeds that thrive during the same season as the pansy. The pansy, a ground hugger, is planted in beds or borders to give a solid mass of flowers. The weeds come up among the pansies, and removing the weeds does a great deal of damage to the blooming plants. It works better to let the weeds remain and blend in with the pansies.
Non-believers are allowed to live and grow in our society along with Christians. Like the weeds, sometimes, it seems as though the non-believers will crowd out and subdue the Christians. When I look closely at my pansies, though, they are distinguishable from the weeds due to the beautiful bloom they produce.
As Christians, we must find a way to bloom — by talking and acting differently from non-believers, being careful not to judge or condemn, and remembering that at harvest, God will be the judge.
Prayer: Lord, remind us to refrain from judging, criticizing, and condemning others. Help us to remember that such is Your role, not ours. Remind us to listen to and obey Your Word, that we may bloom and produce a harvest for You that will enrich and beautify Your world. Amen.