During our family devotions, we have been covering topics relating to weeds and keeping the weeds of sin out of the gardens of our heart. This concept is quite applicable when it comes to dealing with our addictions.

Both the serious and the casual gardeners know that weeds must be kept under control if one expects to keep their plants healthy and experience an abundant harvest. In order to best accomplish this, one needs to pulls any and all weeds that appear when they are small. To do otherwise is to risk the weeds getting large enough that pulling them up could potentially damage the desirable plants. Jesus addresses the danger of this situation in His parable concerning tares (wheat-like weeds) being sown into a wheat field by the landowner’s enemy. When the tares are finally discovered, the workers ask if they should pull the tares from the field, but the landowner said, “No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, ‘First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn’” (Matthew 13:29-30 NKJV)

Obviously, we cannot allow the weeds of sin to grow in our hearts, but this parable serves as a warning against the potential damages that can be experienced if our sins (addictions) are not dealt with promptly, before they become too large and take over our gardens (hearts). If allowed to grow unchecked, our addictions will invade our lives much like quack grass (or even crab grass) and can quickly take over and choke out what we are truly trying to grow and hold dear in our lives. Once it appears, quack grass can be nearly impossible to get rid of due to their roots (rhizomes) which can become entangled among the roots of desirable plants. Also, if not completely and properly removed, each severed piece of rhizome can develop into a new plant; effectively starting the process all over again.

If we try to eradicate these weeds under our own power and do not turn the process completely over to the Master Gardner, we are likely to be like Paul in Romans 7:15-23, where he describes his struggles with his flesh in that he desires to do good, but finds himself doing what he does not want to do because of the sinful nature that is within him. One sure way to be rid of quack grass is to carefully loosen the soil around the roots and then expose them to the sun, where they will shrivel, dry, and die. Likewise, if we expose our sins and addictions to the purifying light of Jesus’ presence they, too, will dry up and die, leaving us with a healthy heart.

Yes, there is potential for considerable pain while well-established weeds are pulled from our lives. Thankfully, as Paul points out in Romans 7:24-25, there is a way out of our predicament: “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God–through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.”

Call upon Jesus today to help you rid yourself of the troublesome weeds of addiction and sin, He is more than capable of handling everything if you will just let go and let Him work in the garden of your heart.

Taking Every Thought Captive!

Scott Pipenhagen
Recovery / Transition Chaplain
Serve & Protect
2 Corinthians 1:3-4


About Scott P.

Scott is a retired Military LEO and a Volunteer Chaplain with Serve & Protect (www.serveprotect.org) where he seeks to provide transition services for First Responders and Military personnel by mentoring and connecting them with local 12 Step or similar Faith-Based recovery programs, local Chaplains, and Trauma Therapists to continue their recovery journey following residential care treatment. Scott contributes these devotions to the Serve & Protect ministry Facebook page: Guns'n'Hoses (https://www.facebook.com/GunsHosesMinistry). Scott has been involved in Faith-Based recovery programs since 2006 and has a Bachelor of Science in Religion through Liberty University and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies through Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary. He currently resides in Fredericksburg, VA, and can be contacted at spipenhagen@liberty.edu.
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