Weeds—the bane of every gardener’s existence.

As God often does, He used a physical paradigm to point out a sin to me. He forced me to consider something I said in haste, to humbly seek forgiveness from Him and others involved.

It’s been hot here in North Carolina, like the rest of the eastern U.S. Everything green is growing great guns–including a few plants that were not invited to the party.

The petunias, peonies, and lilies in my flowerbed are doing well. Amongst the flowers are also unwelcome guests: common grass clumps, a clover variant as kids we called “sour pickles,” and an unnamed vine-grass. All weeds. All potentially able to take over what’s good and beautiful and supposed to be there.

While the temperature this morning was cool enough, I ripped out everything that didn’t belong. There was a great sense of satisfaction as I looked at the pile of weeds at my feet.

Then God brought a scripture, out of the blue, to mind—“And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Matt. 7:3)

I knew exactly what the Holy Spirit was talking about. I had been “weeding” in another’s garden.

Just yesterday morning, I had a conversation in the choir room with a circle of ladies before we sang, where I put on my high-and-mighty hat and said some things I shouldn’t have. I’m very sure I hurt a couple of Christian sisters in the process. Not to get into details, but my statements consisted of my opinions (yeah, my dinky little opinions, Lord–!) on some summertime reading the two ladies were doing. I said that the subject matter in the novels was not appropriate for Christians and was terribly blunt about it. In fact, I said it several times (in case they didn’t get it the first time.)

Hold on, now—you may be saying–isn’t it acceptable and correct to stand up for what’s right? We are to be courageous in our testimony, point out what’s wrong to others, and let the chips fall where they may?

In some instances I wholeheartedly agree. There are UNQUESTIONABLES that we must stake our very lives on—the basics of salvation, Who Jesus is, the character of God. These are tenets of faith we must never let others try to change or diminish their importance. YES, YES, YES!!

But this was an instance concerning two Christian sisters . . . precious, precious souls who know and love Jesus very much. Who’ve both given their hearts and lives to Him. They are part of the body of Christ and God’s chosen family.

And I corrected them publicly. Uncomfortable. Embarrassing. Hurtful.

If I really had that big a problem with it, I should have kept my mouth shut. I should have talked to each of them privately, and in love. Handling it this way would have been the Jesus-way.

Reading matter is not one of those UNQUESTIONABLES—it is a discretionary area of Christian life.

It is a CONVICTION, something we each as Christians must settle in our own minds, and something that the Holy Spirit is in charge of. NOT ME.

I had no right to jump in the middle of their flowerbed and yank out what I thought were weeds. . . . or as the scripture says, “pointing out specks” in their eyes. I’ve got plenty of weeds and logs to keep myself busy, that’s for doggone sure.

Long story, short, I spent some time on Facebook this morning, contacting those two ladies and the others who were witness to my foot-in-mouth disease. There are a few more that I will have to call or talk to in person before the mess is cleaned up.

One lady has already messaged me to say she’s forgiven me.  I pray the other will as well. . .

I really don’t want to repeat this painful lesson. . .

Lord, would You PLEASE help me consider the spiritual ramifications of my words before they leave my mouth—? Would You help me be kind in all my dealings with others?  Amen.

Lookin up,





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  1. Pam Wood Rhudy says:

    Thank you, Jean. “Weeds” convicted me. I have done the same thing to sweet sisters. As a home school family, we took a stand about Harry Potter. And, more recently, several preschool teachers at our church were passing around Twilight books. It made me feel righteous to tell them I was convicted not to read these books. You’re right. Who am I to judge another? Next time, I’ll keep my opinions to myself unless the Holy Spirit lays it on my heart to speak to them in private.

    Love you,

    • sislynstewart says:

      We have to be so-o-o-o careful, don’t we? Or the evil one will use our indiscretion to his ends. . .

      When we manage to be kind (through HIS grace), we are never more like our sweet Savior.

      Blessings to you, Pam!

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