As I mentioned in last week's article, its the time of the year for things to start growing ... including weeds! In fact, at least in my yard, weeds are the healthiest plants I have. Now there are certain places where I allow weeds to grow and flourish. If I want anything green to appear in those places that most folks call a "lawn" then I better allow for the weeds to grow. I try to keep them mowed down enough so that the yard may deceptively pass as a lawn. But, of course, there are other places where I don't want weeds to grow, where the sight of them is most unappealing, and where I battle to get rid of them. I guess it would be honest of me to say that there are certain weeds I tolerate, even embrace, and other weeds I try to get rid of.
Weeds function like sin in our lives. There are places where we allow it to grow and flourish and other places where we try to get rid of it. Some sin we easily tolerate and other sin we try to eliminate. I wish this wasn't so, but in reality it is. I'd never be comfortable with certain visible sins in my life - murder, adultery, drunkenness, etc. Yet there are many other sins I allow to grow and even reseed themselves in my heart - pride, lust, idolatry, anger, etc. I know this is true in my heart ... how about yours?
Our desire and effort must be to rid ourselves of all sin rather than selectively tolerate certain sins over others. But here's where the battle takes place! Like those dadgum weeds, how can we eliminate them? Using a mower or trimmer doesn't really solve any problems; they just grow back almost as fast as I can cut them. I must get to and kill the root of the weeds in order to have any sort of impact. Thus, the power of Round Up or whatever similar product you may prefer.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is like Round Up for sin ... it addresses the root of sin rather than just the surface. The Gospel allows us to defeat sin rather than be content with merely managing our sin. So the question now is, "how is our sin defeated?"
I'm not suggesting some formula, process, program, or incantation you can recite to eliminate sin. Rather I'm saying that the only place to defeat sin is at the cross of Jesus Christ. He died to pay the penalty of that sin but also to defeat the sin and render it powerless; it is no longer our master.
So when we see that sin popping up like a weed, don't be content to trim off the top ... go for the root! Take that sin in repentant prayer to the cross of Jesus Christ and believe again today that Christ's death is sufficient to defeat, destroy, and overcome it. None of us are able to get rid of sin on our own ... only the Gospel is sufficient! Take some time and start applying the Gospel to your heart to deal with your sin.