Scripture: Matthew 13:24-30
Key verse: (29) But he replied, “No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them.”
Reflection: I love to weed! I find a particular joy in that task, cleaning up around the flowers and the bushes. I occasionally even struggle to unearth a dandelion that has made its home in the middle of the green grassy lawn.
I love to weed! I take pleasure in sorting things into neat categories of good and bad. Sometimes I sort people into categories too. I have some mental criteria (though those are constantly changing) and I judge people against those criteria. It might be “churchy” criteria – sorting people into regular attenders and the occasional attenders, or the church pledgers and the non-pledgers. It might be “character” criteria – sorting people into the kind and gentle, or the abrasive and difficult. Whatever the criteria, I enjoy the process of judging and categorizing. When I weed people, I feel superior and self-righteous. The flaws and the sins of others are always more substantial than any of my own.
Apparently the first disciples and the early church loved weeding too. Jesus told a parable about it, reminding them and us that weeds are sown among the wheat. You cannot gather the weeds without uprooting the wheat along with them. Jesus cautioned against judging and categorizing. He taught us that it does more harm than good. He warned us that we are not to put ourselves in the role of judge, but to trust God to handle judgment (likely without our self-righteous input).
So I need to stick to weeding around my flowers and my bushes and leave the work of weeding people up to God!
Prayer: Dear Lord, you are a more patient and gracious judge than I am. And I am grateful because you treat me with patience and with grace. Give me a patient and gracious spirit as I encounter my brothers and sisters in the world today. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].