Are you the thorny vine that chokes the life out of other Christians?

In the parable of the sower (Mark 4), Jesus explained how God spreads the seeds of the gospel lavishly upon the ground.  Some seed fell upon the ground only to be plucked up by birds.  Faith does not have time to last or take root.  There is happiness in receiving the word, but lack of commitment allows Satan to steal the joy of a new Christian’s salvation.

Others were thrown on rocky ground.  They take root, grow for a while, and then wither away.  The soil is thin, and faith unsustainable.

Yet others grow in healthy soil.  The Christian life takes root and soars; it’s a sustainable faith that weathers the toughest storms of life.  There is adversity, but a deep root system that draws life from Christ’s everlasting spring provides nourishment and joy.

There is one more “soil” that Jesus talked about.  Some seed, he said, fell on good soil and took root.  As it was growing, however, weeds and thorny vines came up and choked the life out of the healthy plants.  Instead of a beautiful garden, a briar patch stamps out the light of Christ’s love.

Many assume that the “weeds and thorns” that can choke one’s faith are life’s tough situations; others think it is immaturity of a Christian.  But what if we are the weeds and thorns in another person’s garden that keep them from having a healthy Christian life?  What if we choke out the Good News of the Gospel with our assumptions, judging spirits, attitudes, bad moods, and overall lack of commitment to a faith that transforms all of who we are?

This week, consider how your relationships, faith formation, and attitude encourages or hinders how others come to know Christ in their life.  Forgive and ask forgiveness regularly; be an ambassador of reconciliation always!  In all things, be the Good News!

Published by Joe LaGuardia

I am a pastor and author in Vero Beach, Florida, and write on issues related to spirituality, faith, politics, and culture.

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