This is a guest post from Dr. Ron Powell. Ron is passionate about training men and women to reach and disciple teens through relational ministry. He has been on this mission for the past 29 years. Presently he is the Youth Ministry Institute Director at Vanguard College in Edmonton. Ron is avid blogger at YouthMinistryUnleashed Ron and his family have been a part of North Pointe for the over 10 years.
I walked out onto my lawn, heavily armed with toxic chemicals and implements of destruction. My goal? – wipe out the weeds!
Try as I might, I was unsuccessful. The more I dug, hacked, and gouged, the bigger and fiercer the lions (the dande kind) that returned. This year I am trying something that works on the lawn and in my life.
I got my ideas from Rick Warren, who looks at weeds as “hurts, habits and hang-ups.” Do you have any of these kinds of weeds that keep coming back heartier each season? Here are 3 proven methods for controlling these unsightly weeds that spring up in our lives.
1. Water only what you want to live
The steps on the YouTube video were clear: Lay landscaping cloth. Cover with mulch. Water only the bushes, trees and grass. Don’t water the mulch.
In our personal life, what this “watering” looks like, is concentrating on and growing only our areas of health.
Focus on those healthy thoughts and activities only. As the Bible reminds us, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Phil 4:8,9)
If I told you not to think about ice cream; cool, sweet, refreshing ice cream, the harder you tried not to think of it, the more you would be obsessed with it. The same goes for our weeds. Constantly thinking about them nourishes them and makes them grow. Concentrating on healthy habits and routines makes good things grow and the weeds shrivel.
2. Plant grass to choke out the weeds
This is what I am doing. Every time I pull out a weed, I plant grass seed in that spot. If we stop doing one thing, that spot in our schedule and our mind will be taken up with something else. Filling it up with volunteering, reading the Bible or caring for others is the best way to stop it from growing back. As one preacher has said, “Be so busy doing the do’s that you don’t have time to do the don’ts!”
3. Get the whole root
Everyone knows that the best way to kill weeds is get to the root of the problem. In life, our troubles may come from the roots of pride, unforgiveness, anger, loneliness, fear, greed, lust, or doubt. No wonder that they are so difficult to extract!
The great bible teacher, Andrew Murray recommends that, as Jesus told his disciples, some of these don’t come out except through prayer and fasting. (Matthew 17:21) We need God’s help to pull out the stubborn roots. Once he does get the root out, plant good habits, thoughts, and goals in its place.
The war on weeds doesn’t get easier with time, but we can get better at it by choking them out with good things in our lives, feeding only our healthy thoughts, and inviting the Lord, though prayer, to reach to the core of our being and yank hard.
Question: What are some of the ways that you are overcoming the weeds in your life? Please post your comment below.
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Choking out the stubborn weeds in my life began with prayer…talking to God in conversation not ritual or hurried, not asking for everything I want, need, having prayers answered my way. Prayer with God became a two way conversation. It
started with unravelling. Early in the morning, quiet time, I realized He wanted me to
share every thought . Confess everything to Him….the good, bad and ugly. I discovered that God took over. How beautiful to discover that God is BIG, BIGGER
than anything I could dream of. The amazing part ? He took control of ME and
all my baggage. Now I’m His problem ! I choose obedience.
As the writer of the blog “Save a Child’ – actually, ‘Save a Child from Sexual Abuse by 3:15 PM’ I spend a lot of time each day in a very dark world. The weeds in my life are like walking through a corn field.
I escape daily from those weeds by rejoicing when I see children rescued, or governments take action to address CSA. I also escape the weeds by spending time in the Word and in Prayer, always rejoicing at what the Lord has done, and what He will do, and believing that I will see those children in Heaven one day, made whole and healthy.
You are doing a good work, Gary. Keep it up!
Early AM quiet time is great way to start the day and get a jump on any weeds that may be starting to poke their heads above the surface.