“What, mom?” Chase asked from above. His face scrunched against the plastic playhouse window as he looked down.
“Nothing, honey. Just talking to the weeds.”
I turned my attention back to the big weed hanging out under our bird bath. Grasping the foot-high weed by its thick green stem, I pulled. I knew better, but I hoped to get a grip that wouldn’t hurt.
Tiny prickles from the weed’s spiky leaves pierced the skin on my fingers and palm. The sharp sensation weakened my grasp as a tight sound of pain sputtered off my lips. Instead of tearing the weed wholly out of the ground, all I did was rip off the top half.
Itchy pink marks dotted my fingers and hand. I glanced at the damage to my hand and the damage to the weed.
The thick, spiky-leaved root base hadn’t budged from the ground. The goliath weed stood proudly, gloating.
“Still going down.” I kicked at the weed, squashing it down and crumbling it under the heel of my flip flops.
I knew the weed would be back soon enough because I hadn’t pulled it out by its roots. I need a pair of gardening gloves. Once my hands were protected I could work my way through our weed-filled yard quickly.
As I looked around at the other weeds sprouting throughout our backyard I thought of God, the Master Gardener, and the fact that our sin separates us from Him. In His mercy and wisdom He blessed us with the strongest, most effective gardening gloves for weedy sin – the righteousness of His perfect Son, Jesus.
“Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness….Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (Jeremiah 23:5 & 6)
I can’t get rid of sin on my own because I have a sin nature. It’s part of who I am. But my perfect Savior doesn’t have that nature. Oswald Chambers said, “the great wonder of Jesus Christ’s salvation is that He changes our heredity. He does not change human nature – He changes its source [the righteousness of Christ], and thereby its motives as well.”
If I try to pull – or kick down – the weeds on my own, all I accomplish is breaking off pieces of the weed, squashing it down for a while and probably hurting my hands in the process. I’d leave the most important part of the weed, the growing, living roots buried deep in the soil of my soul.
Through faith in Jesus and in His finished work on the Cross we’re blessed with His righteousness to break away from our destructive sin nature. I claim no righteousness apart from Him.
I can’t pull the stubborn, prickly weeds in my backyard without protective gloves because it’s too painful and I won’t be able to complete the task on my own. It has to be done correctly or the weeds will grow back. When we wear the righteousness of Christ, He becomes the protective gardening glove that enables us to pull weedy sin out of our lives.
Gaining Jesus’ righteousness through faith in Him gives us the ability to pull the sin out of our lives – from the roots.
Don’t tend the garden of your soul without Jesus!