“The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.” ~Matthew 13:22
Nothing is more damaging to your relationship with God and the spiritual fruitfulness he longs to give you than the “worries of life and the deceitfulness of wealth” that continually and loudly demand your attention. Jesus called them “thorns”, warning that they will grow up and choke out the fruit-producing seed of God’s Word.
What are the worries of life for you? Making the mortgage payment on a home you can barely afford—or can’t really afford. Paying for a high-end car or two, that, in all honesty, inhabit your garage simply to massage your ego. Keeping your kids in that prestigious university, making sure your retirement account is getting fatter, staying awake at night worrying about the stock market, plotting the next move to outpace the “Joneses” …
Be honest—you’ve got worries, so do I. You’re caught up in the wealth trap; I am, too. You’re in the rat race—I can feel it even as you read this line. So am I! I fight the same addiction to money, things, pleasure and power that you do.
Whether we like to admit it or not, the “thorns” that Jesus warned about are competing for our soil with the values of God’s Kingdom. And guess what, you and I are the only ones who can weed them out.
Oh, God will strengthen you and give you discernment to deal with them, but you are the one who will have to do a little self-weeding.
Listen—it is time to quit talking about this and start weeding. You know intuitively that I am spot on about this. The growth and fruitfulness of the Kingdom of God in your life, and in your family, is riding on you being bold enough and wise enough to start pulling and chucking the weeds right out of your life.
I will pray for you, and I hope you will pray for me. I won’t kid you—it won’t be easy. In fact, it will be the toughest thing you have ever done. Furthermore, those thorny thistles love to sprout back—even after you have ripped them out by the roots. So what you have to do is watch out for them every day. No, spiritual weeding is not easy, but it is worth the fruit! So get after it; I will, too!
“Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man.” ~C.S. Lewis