Dear Fellow 1.5ers,
I have a retired neighbor whose full-time hobby is manicuring his yard, so, of course, his yard is immaculate. He mows in the rain and in the drought. He dresses up his flower beds constantly. He artistically shapes his hedge bushes. His flowers radiate color and vitality. And when you drive by his corner lot, you covet. However, that’s all from a distance.
The privilege of the next-door neighbor is the privilege of intruding. When your yard fencelessly connects with your neighbor’s yard, you see things. As I mow my sub-par grass, I pass onto my neighbor’s professional grass, and I notice…
Unseen from our street. Unnoticeable from a distance. There in those immaculate flower beds...
My proximity to my neighbor makes me privy to something no one else ever sees, and while I have my own plank of a yard to deal with, I see his speck. With the appearance of little green neighbors peering over the dog-eared fence that separates their property from yours, weeds emerge from the pine straw that protect my neighbor’s flower beds. They are there. Lots of them. And, no matter how hard he works at killing those weeds, he never ultimately wins the battle. And, regardless of the hours he spends covering them up, the weeds always find their way to the top of the pine straw, and they rear their ugly, little heads toward the sun.
It’s unfortunate that you can’t keep everyone off your lawn so that only you have to know about your weeds. People get close. And when they do, they see your weeds.
Maybe you have lots of weeds or hugely tall weeds. Maybe there are weeds in your yard that are so invasive that there’s no way you can kill them or cover them up.
This is how I feel about my sin, and I suspect, many of you feel the same. My weeds of sin bring with them shame and disgrace, frustration and guilt, weeping and swearing. And no matter how hard I try to kill or cover up my sin-weeds, they always rear their ugly heads. Those closest to me, those people whom I’ve allowed to trespass onto my property, they are privy to my sin-weeds, and they are seemingly the ones who are consistently wounded by my weeds. It would be so much easier if I could just hang up a sign – “NO TRESSPASSING.” Or better yet, what if I could find a way to cover up or kill all those sin-weeds?
About two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ came to Earth to kill our weeds. Those sins that so easily entangle us were exterminated on a hill just outside the city of Jerusalem as the earth quaked and the sky went black. It takes a lot to kill weeds, and when you hate weeds as much as God hates weeds, you’re willing to do whatever it takes to see them eradicated. If you’re God, you’ll even exterminate your only son to exterminate the weeds of people who don’t really want their weeds exterminated. With the death of Jesus came the eternal covering of our sin-weeds. When we put our faith in the eradicating work of Jesus, our weeds are buried under the love of God, and those weeds will never again see the light of day. Sure, our weeds will continue to rear their heads from time-to-time, but God, our only neighbor, sees our yard as perfectly immaculate because when He looks at our yards, He sees only Jesus’ yard.
Here’s how the Bible explains it:
“…as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions [weeds] from us” (Psalm 103:12).
“For I will forgive their iniquity [weeds], and I will remember their sin [weeds] no more” (Jeremiah 31:34).
“For our sake he made him to be sin [weeds] who knew no sin [weeds], so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
“…love covers a multitude of sins [weeds]” (1 Peter 4:8).
“…where sin [weeds] increased, grace abounded all the more…” (Romans 5:20).
Don’t worry about the trespassers. Don’t shame yourself into darkness. Don’t allow your mind and spirit to be fixated on your weeds.
Fix your eyes on the weed-killer, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. He died so your weeds wouldn’t kill you. May we rejoice and remember His finished work, and may the truth that our weeds are buried in love motivate us to kill those weeds that continually creep up on us.