Monday, June 21, 2010

Nip It in the Bud

TomatoWhen I was growing up on a small family farm in Colorado our family grew vegetables and sold them at a stand at our home. When we were old enough Dad planted a couple rows on the farm just for each of us kids. We could choose what to plant and Dad would plant it for us. It would then be our job to make sure that it got irrigated and weeded. We would have to do all the work of picking what we grew. But all the money we earned from those rows of vegetables would be ours to keep.
One year I planted okra, a good cash crop. It can be harvested several times through the summer and keeps producing as long as you keep cutting the pods. I grew green beans another year. A lot of work picking those, but it paid well.
I remember one year I decided to be lazy and planted red beets. I figured those only had to be harvested once. Just pull them up out of the ground and they are ready to sell. The only problem was that my laziness also carried over into my tending the beets. As the beets began to grow so did the weeds. But rather than pull the weeds I was lazy and just let them grow. I figured I could always pull them later when they got bigger.
Bad idea. What I did not count on was that the weeds became so numerous that they began to choke out the beets. Rather than having nice, round, beautiful, big beets I ended up with small, deformed, ugly beets. They did not sell well. And it was a TON of work just to get them out of the ground trying to work around all the weeds that were waist high by that time.
CornI learned a great lesson that season. Weed often. Take out the weeds when they are small. I am growing a garden this year. You can read my progress here and here. But this time, I go out to weed the garden every day. My hoe and I make quick work of the tiny weeds that poke up from day to day. It’s easy work because I don’t give the weeds a chance to grow. As Barney Fife would say, I “nip it in the bud.”
That’s what I try to do with my Christian life as well. When it comes to spiritual weeds, sin, I nip it in the bud. I make a habit of confessing often as soon the Spirit convicts. So most of the time I can avoid sin growing out of control in my life.  The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9).
How about you? Are you letting the weeds grow or cutting them off when they are small?
Also, check out my guest post at Larry Westfall's Pursuing a Life of Significance blog.


  1. Awesome thoughts, I hope to be posting some too on facebook. It's amazing how God teaches us the lessons long before we need them and alot of times before we can even see them.-sam

  2. Sam, Good to hear from you. Some lessons take me longer to learn than others. Thank God for His patience and gentleness toward us! --Richard

  3. Larry, Hope you are having a great vacation.

    The real problem comes when the weeds are hard to distinguish from the good plants. Some sins start out looking fairly benign. That is why I have to constantly be walking with Jesus and staying in His Word. Then I am more sensitive to the Holy Spirit's conviction.

    Not saying I always do it well. But I trust in the One who does all things well.


  4. Another great post Pastor Richard! Between this and your post on Larry's blog, I am deeply encouraged today!

  5. Nolan, Enjoyed your post today about Fatherhood. ( )

    So glad that God uses us to encourage each other. --Richard

  6. Weeding out. Such a tedious thing to do, yet so neccessary. God, help me to weed out the small stuff before they become giants in my life.

    Good post Richard.


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