When I was in the process of writing "Pace Yourself," a daily devotional book spurned from everyday events, there was more than one entry that bemoaned the fact that weeds grew all too easily between the cracks of my sidewalk. I spent countless hours sitting there in the hot sun, needlenose pliers in hand to pull that pesky vegetation out from the roots. It was a tough job that frustrated me to no end. How was it that weeds grew so freely and relentlessly when carefully tended seedlings in the perfect conditions struggled to survive? Not fair.
Then Gary told me about weed killer. Yes. He was right. It was--and still is--easier to pull out dead weeds than ones that are thriving. But there's one little problem. The herbicide he gave me takes about two weeks to work. The only good thing about that is that I get to procrastinate a little bit longer in ridding the sidewalk and beds of the ugliness. There's no sense in working harder to pull those weeds now, is there?
This got me thinking. Those weeds I sprayed yesterday are in the process of dying...I just can't see it. They still look okay. In fact, they appear to be thriving. No brown leaves or wilting stems. In fact, if I didn't know the weeds had been treated, I would assume there was nothing wrong. But, I know that the poison I sprayed onto their leaves is slowly being sucked into the plant and carried to the roots. Though the process is slow, the result is quite predictable: death.
Admittedly, I tend to do this at times. I look pretty good on the outside despite the fact that I have poisoned myself, killing off righteous living one cell at a time. The old adage, "If you play with fire, you're gonna get burned," is all too true. The deadly poison or destructive flames licking away at our souls might be jealousy, envy, subjecting ourselves to inappropriate music or movies, or engaging in frivolous speech or unkind words. Though we may be able to fool some of the people some of the time, there is no fooling God. He knows the thoughts and intents of our mind. We dare not let sin eat away at our insides no matter how good we appear on the outside.