I believed a lie for over twenty years. Actually, let me rephrase that. I chose to believe a lie for over twenty years. It was something deeply hurtful said to me in my mid twenties that I took on board and carried for another twenty or more years.
The seeds of those words had taken root, deep in the soil of my heart.
I still functioned okay as a Christian. I was involved in church life, read my Bible, worshiped God privately and together with my church family, but all while, under the surface, the weed was left to grow and do it’s damage. As I write this, was about to write “left untended” – but I felt the voice of the Holy Spirit say to me, “it was the opposite”.
That weed wasn’t left untended – it was the very plant I focused on. Even over twenty years after those horrible things had been said to me, and I had still not let it go. Every now and then, the words would filter into my mind and I’d mull and stew over them. The sting of those words was as fresh as if they’d just been said. I felt unworthy, unlikeable. Stupid. ‘A freak’ was one of the things the person had called me. It didn’t matter how many sermons I listened to, how many books I read about who God says I am, because deep down inside, those other words echoed in my ears and I chose to believe them. I chose not to tear that weed out by forgiving the person and letting it go.
Forgiveness is a powerful weed killer!
Maybe you can relate to this? Perhaps you find yourself returning time and time again in your mind to a hurtful or traumatic event in your life. Is there a person you feel you will never be able to forgive? Maybe it’s yourself you can’t forgive?
Keep On Top of The Weeding
We have some really pretty shrubs and flowers growing in pots, in the garden of our home. I’m constantly pulling weeds out because if I don’t keep on it, our garden is very quickly overcome with weeds and nettles.
It still functions pretty much as a garden; it still has some good plants in it, but with those weeds growing it can’t thrive.
This is the kind of spiritual diligence I need to apply to my heart. Just as we’re admonished in Proverbs 4:23 “Keep [guard] your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”
Sometimes, as I’m pulling weeds out of the garden, just the stalk breaks off, leaving the root in the soil. I hate it when that happens because I know that the weed hasn’t really gone; it only appears to be gone. It’s like that in our spiritual garden too. Those weeds can be completely uprooted when we believe and apply the truths of God’s Word, allowing those truths to take root instead: “My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body.” Proverbs 4:20-22
Weeds of guilt and unworthiness are countered by planting and nurturing deep in our hearts the truth that tells us “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
When the weed of “God couldn’t love you” starts to grow, nip it in the bud straight away by instead tending to the sweet and tender sapling with the beautiful fragrance that will build your life from the inside out while acting as a powerful weed killer to that lie! Here it is: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” Jeremiah 31:3
When the enemy tries to choke the life out of you with the weed of unforgiveness and you’ve been telling yourself “I can never forgive that person for what they did/said to me”, pour on the weed killer of God’s all powerful Word, that tells us “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Philippians 4:13
Here are just a few seeds from God’s Word – some reminders of who you are in Christ and, more importantly who He is:
You are His friend John 15:15
You’re adopted as His Child Galatians 4:7
You are free from condemnation Romans 8:1
You are a citizen of heaven Philippians 3:20-21
You are a branch of the True Vine (Jesus) John 15:5
And as for who our God is… well, I could be here for weeks and then some! But here are just a few reminders:
His (Faithful) Love endures forever 1 Chronicles 16:34 Psalm 118:1-4,29
His Faithfulness Endures forever Psalm 117:2
His name is a Strong Tower Proverbs 18:10
He is Tender Hearted Matt 6:26,30
He is Just Psalm 9:7,8
He is slow to anger and Compassionate Psalm 103:8
He abounds in mercy and love Psalm 103:8
He provides for your every need Philippians 4:19
Whatever particular type of weed is growing in your garden, I’m sure you know, as do I, that allowed to grow, these do not stay small and innocuous. And they multiply!
The ‘secret’ for me is to root out the weeds as soon as they become apparent. We don’t always spot the weeds, but through submitting ourselves to loving, Godly leadership we can allow others into our lives. Agh, those times are the worst, but I have to say, they’re also the best.
And you can ask God to show you what lies you are believing; about yourself and about Him – His character and nature. Allow the truth of His Word to cut right through those lies and take root in the soil of your heart.