The picture was taken this morning of my maturing garden. It is typical. The tomato plant has a crop that will ripen shortly. I still tend to the plant by pruning unwanted shoots and give it occasional ground work. Around the plant there are a few common weeds that are growing, and I will have to go and remove them. I have to do that every so often. Weeding and nurturing go together. Weeding all the time means the plants don’t get tended. Tend the plants all the time but forget the weeds means the vegetables will get choked.
Every believer has both the Light and weeds. If we say we don’t have weeds, we lie. That is what 1 John 1:10 says. Weeds are sin. A few verses earlier it also says that walking in Him gives us fellowship with each other and purifies us from sin. While it is not a comfortable thought that we have to work at these issues all of our lives, we really must. We are always doing two things at once–nurturing our relationship with Him, which affects our relationship with each other, and weeding out the sin. And, the whole little book is written to a group of God’s people, so we really do all this together by guarding our brother’s heart as well as our own.
It does not matter if a believer is brand new or mature, a pastor or a child, a great teacher or a new student. Each believer has a Precious Savior that works in our hearts and gives us life and peace. He prunes us and tends to our growth. However, we have a critical part, too. We weed. We expose things to the Light that we have kept in the dark so He can purify us. Have cravings, lusts of the eyes, or boast in what you have or do (a paraphrase of 1 John 2:16)? These things are from the world that is contrary to God. Don’t be surprised, just deal with them as the Holy Spirit makes you aware of them. If your brother has trouble in any of these ways, help him, too. Then we can all grow together and be fruitful.