Articles rooted in Scripture to challenge and grow your faith (1 Thess. 5:21).

A good weed control plan is one that establishes a thick lawn where weeds can't establish.

That was the first line in a "How To" section on weed control from The website went on to give tips on how to do this such as fertilizing regularly, letting the grass grow tall so longer roots will develop, and watering infrequently so the roots won't become shallow. What was interesting to me, however, is that very little was said about killing weeds with herbicides. Most of the article was devoted to building a healthy lawn. The idea is that if the lawn is strong and flourishing it will become so thick that weeds will have a difficult time taking root. Though weeds will spring up from time to time in a healthy lawn, they are much easier to control.

We have to deal with weeds in our spiritual lives. Jesus spoke of these in the Parable of the Sower:

Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. (Luke 8:14)

This world offers a wide variety of things that vie for our attention: homes, cars, clothes, music, sports, careers, etc. While many of these things are not what we would typically classify as "ungodly", these things can act as thorns (or weeds) by choking out our spiritual life so that we become unfruitful. It's very easy to be consumed by these things (in the same way that weeds can easily consume a lawn). We can become so busy chasing after the world that we have little energy or enthusiasm left for God.

How do we solve this problem? Part of the solution is getting rid of all that is worldly from our lives. The Scriptures exhort us to do this:

"And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation..." (Ephesians 5:18)

"Flee also youthful lusts..." (2 Timothy 2:22)

"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful..." (Psalm 1:1)

"Set your mind... not on things on the earth." (Colossians 3:2)

But while "weeding" is necessary, it is only part of the solution. Upon removing the bad we must put good in its place. Consider the other half of those passages:

"And do not be drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit..." (Ephesians 5:18)

"Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart." (2 Timothy 2:22)

"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night." (Psalm 1:1-2)

"Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." (Colossians 3:2)

Just as your lawn can get so thick and lush that weeds will have a hard time growing in it, your heart can be so full of good things that it will be difficult for the things of this world to find a place. We can become so full of the Spirit that we're drawn to intoxicating drink as we once were. We can become so busy in our pursuit of an authentic spiritual life with godly people that we won't have time to follow after "youthful lusts" with the ungodly crowd. Our minds can become so captivated by the Word of God that we'll have little interest in the "counsel of the ungodly" anymore. We can become so focused on "Christ who is our life" (Col 3:4) that we won't be easily distracted by the cares and concerns of this world.

So as important as it is to "weed out" the bad stuff in our lives, it is equally, if not more, important to replace the bad with good.  "Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good" (Romans 12:9).