Few people can trim and landscape another person’s lawn without destroying at least some plants which the owner purposely set out and fondly values. This is especially true when the owner loves flowers, but the trimmer finds no delight in horticulture.
When a person appreciates the beauty of blossoming flowers and the satisfaction of caring for living plants, she will carefully choose, locate, and plant both perennials and annuals, so that her garden plots remain in bloom from early Spring till late Fall. She will energetically water these beds to prevent the beloved plants from wilting due to dehydration. She will carefully weed the beds to keep her flowers from competing with unwanted weeds for nutrition. She will continue this practice for many years, establishing several permanent beds.
Then one day, the time comes when someone else must mow the lawn and tend to the beds. That someone else may appreciate the beauty of the flowers while they are in bloom, but he may not be able to differentiate between the emerging blades of a cherished perennial, and that of a distained grass. He may not be able to differentiate between the broad leaves of a Holly Hock and that of an emerging gypsum weed.
That’s when difficulties arise for both. The one envisioning the beds to be as beautiful as she once kept them, and the other not knowing for sure how to accomplish that goal.
Spiritually, the Bible clearly teaches us that we are to be our brother’s keeper. We christians are to help one another become untangled from the world. We are to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:1,2). If anyone goes back into the world, we are to do our best to restore that person, thus saving his soul. (James 5:19-20)
In essence, we are to try to help one another remove the spiritual weeds from our lives, and to cultivate the spiritual flowers which make our lives beautiful.
But this is often difficult. Because many times there are disagreements about which actions and attitudes constitute flowers and which ones constitute weeds. One person may have purposely planted and lovingly nurtured an action or attitude for years within his life, believing it to be a beautiful, fragrant flower, while his brother may deem the action or attitude to be an obnoxious weed.
God has given us a difficult task.
So, what do we do in such a case?
Carefully read God’s word together. Lovingly speak God’s word to one another. Then allow God to aid each person to identify the flowers and the weeds within his life. Allow God to empower each person to remove the unwanted spiritual weeds from his life.
When we go beyond this, and forcefully try to “weed” another person’s life for them, we may destroy their flowers as well.
“All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) ESV
“May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God.” (Romans 15:5-7) ESV
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