BY: SHERIE GROSSMAN
E-MAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
BIBLE TEXT: Matthew 5:30: “And if your hand-even your stronger hand-causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”
PERSONAL REFLECTION: I have two brown thumbs. Trust me, if it grows I usually kill it. But I can take care of roses for some reason. This spring I noticed my rose bushes had sections that looked different. The stalk was smoother, the leaves a little thinner, and the buds small. When the rose buds would open on the “different” sections, they would be wilty and distorted, yet they looked so pretty and strong at first.
I took a picture of these different sections and showed them to the one and only John Carey. He said, “Those are weeds. Cut them off now or they will take over your roses,” so I did the very next day. They fell off easily. I didn’t even need my pruning shears to cut them off. I realized that they were not only attached to some of the other stalks, but growing from the base. They were trying to take over my beautiful roses and were sneaky about it!
As I was pruning, I thought how this is so similar to sin in our life. Sin can sneak in on us, looking harmless, maybe even pretty. It can tantalize, tempt, and seduce until it takes over our lives. I was reminded of the verse in Matthew that says to cut off your hand if it sins. As drastic as this seems, I interpret it to mean that we need to cut off the weeds in our life. We need to identify those things that are drawing us towards sin and away from Him. Prune away the weeds so you can be a beautiful rose.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: What are the things in your life that seem harmless but are creeping their way into your heart and your life? What do you need to cut off? A temptation? A relationship? A habit? An attitude? Ask God to help you cut it out of your life before it takes over.
PRAYER: Lord, please help me to cut the temptations out of my life. Give me strength to weed out the things that lead me towards sin and away from you. I need you every day to guard my heart and my mind from things that are not pleasing to you. And please, Lord, forgive me for my sins. Thank you for dying on the cross so I can be clean. Amen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I am the wife of the wonderful Jay Grossman, the mom of Ellie, Ethan and Christian, and the surrogate mom to hundreds of high school band, orchestra and choir students. I run a community band, volunteer at Life Assembly, co-sponsor the Interact club, and like to crochet in my “spare” time. I try to hear God’s voice through the chaos daily!