EARTH: Uprooting Sin by Francine Rivers

Reflections on How God Speaks through Nature

Uprooting Sin by Francine Rivers

From: Earth Psalms

When you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.”  God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.  Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.  These desires give birth to sinful actions.  And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. (James 1:13-15)

Where I live, Scotch broom blooms everywhere in spring. It spreads like a low thicket over pastureland, and even burning doesn’t kill it. Scotch broom smells wonderful, but it’s a problem when left to grow at will. Tiny seeds blow hither and yon, and soon there are sprouts along roads, in backyards, and in the “green space” meant only for native plants. If the sprout isn’t removed quickly, Scotch broom will sink its roots and fan underground fingers that hold fiercely. It grows fast and vigorously, blooming like yellow fire across a hillside and casting another gazillion tiny seeds into the wind.

How like sin!  It can start with a small thought, take hold, and send a mind reeling into action that brings heartache and spreads grief.  Sin can look like the glittering lights of Vegas, smell like the expensive perfume of Paris, taste like a feast.  Then the consequences set in.  The lights go out in the morning, and you see the homeless and hungry people sleeping along the fences.  The perfume smells stale and sickly.  The “feast” turns sour in your stomach.

Scotch broom shows me how the tiniest seed can grow into a giant weed, and warns me that a thought can become an action leading to a habit that can destroy a life.  How thankful I am that I don’t have to give in to sin.  First Corinthians 10:13 tells us, “God is faithful.  He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.  When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”  The Master Gardener can show us how to uproot the seeds of sin in our lives.

Temptation is the devil looking through the keyhole.
Yielding is opening the door and inviting him in.

(Billy Sunday)

REFLECT

When have you seen a small choice lead to a damaging habit?  When we see sin taking root in our lives, how can we eradicate it with God’s help?

APPLY

This week, consider where sin might be spreading in your life.  Ask God to help you keep it from becoming rooted in you.

CONNECT WITH GOD

Father, help me to take sin seriously and remember that small choices lead to bad habits.  I don’t want sin to become rooted in my life!  Thank you for being faithful and providing a way to escape temptation.  Please give me the strength to take it.

Lord, if you kept a record of our sins,
who, O Lord, could ever survive?
But you offer forgiveness,
that we might learn to fear you.
(Psalm 130:3-4)

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