Several years ago Naomi and I were pulling weeds in our small, backyard garden. I had given her a little bucket and told her I would pay her a quarter when she filled it. She quickly got to work and in no time had the bucket full.
I checked the bucket and found lots of little green garden-invaders… but only the tops of them.
I explained to Naomi that we had to pull out the roots of the weeds; it was useless to just pull off the above-ground parts. She was frustrated, because this (of course) took much more work and time than just zipping through the garden, snagging what could be seen.
As we worked, I felt God nudging my heart: “Liz, sin is like the weeds in your garden. If you just rush through your heart, snipping off the tops of the most obvious sins, they will return. And when they come back, they will be stronger and more invasive.”
I sat back on my heels to listen.
“You must take the time to dig out the root of the sin. When did the seed land on the soil of your heart? When did you choose your own ways instead of Mine, and allow that weed to germiate and sprout?”
I knew that day he was speaking to my soul about the pervasive sin of control and manipulation that I had let fester for years. It was quite a bit easier to say, “God, I’m sorry for being manipulative to my husband this morning,” than to take the time to dig out the roots: I had long been choosing to trust myself more than God and to “lean on my own understanding” rather than “acknowlege him.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Lord, please open my eyes to the dep roots of my sin and teach me how to pull out the weed with the root. Amen.