It’s Good to Get Your Hands Dirty

Hands dirtyFall Cleanup

Black from dirt and polish chipped, my fingers were swollen, sore, and stiff.  Even after three ibuprofen I could barely raise my arms.  I felt as though I’d spent hours lifting free weights and not a handful of hours of yard work.  Despite the aches and pains, there is something cathartic about a little manual labor, getting your hands dirty, and a little yard clean up on a breezy fall day.

Pulling Weeds

I spent most of the weekend crawling around on my knees and pulling weeds from the landscaping.  In the places where there is mulch they came up easily – roots and all.  But, in the areas crowded with decorative rocks and shrubs the weeds were much harder to remove.  Even with gloves on, my fingers grew dirty and sore from moving stones to ensure I could get all of the weed pulled up, including the roots.  I know that if I just pull the greenery I will have to revisit in the spot in days.  So, I dig to get to the root.

This summer started off very hot and after a particularly warm couple of weeks, I remember walking along our front beds and being shocked by the number of “baby” weeds sprouting amongst the rocks.

Pulling weeds is a perfect metaphor for dealing with the sin in our life. Sin, like weeds on a hot summer day, thrives in the most inhospitable landscapes. Click To Tweet

Sometimes sin appears  unexpectedly. However, I think more often than not, the truth is that the business of the day-to-day leaves us like bees, quickly moving from one plant to the next. The speed of life makes it difficult to slow long enough to identify and respond to the sin just starting to take root. But, if we just pluck at what’s visible above ground, we allow the root to grow deeper and deeper, strengthening it’s hold by expanding and infiltrating the surrounding areas.

When dealing with sin in our lives, we shouldn't focus all our efforts on what is seen. There is always a heart issue at the root of our sin. #HowIsYourHeart Click To Tweet

Time to Get Your Hands Dirty

If you’re ready to do a little weeding of your own, here are 3 tips to help identify and root out the sin that may be taking hold in your life.

  1. Pray that God would reveal to you areas of sin in your life.  Psalm 139|23-24 provides a great example.  “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way of everlasting.”
  2. Reach out to a friend or accountability partner.  We were not created to do this life alone.  We were created to live in community with one another.  Vulnerability is difficult; however, I believe God rewards our humility as well as transparency as we live out our faith together.
  3. Take action.  It is not enough to merely know the areas where sin has a stronghold in our life.  Just like caring for my landscaping – it’s great that I can see a weed and identify it as such, but if I do nothing to remove it, that knowledge does me no good. So, spend time in God’s word, surround yourself with other Christ followers that will encourage you to address these areas, change your decision making and setup guard rails to protect you from falling back into old patterns of behavior.

Just as my yard and landscaping are neither the first nor last to be infiltrated with weeds, the same is also true for both of us when it comes to the sin in our lives.  The apostle Paul says it clearly in the book of Romans:

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

Romans 3|23

Maybe today is the day you ask God to help you with your own cleanup project.

Be there,


5 thoughts on “It’s Good to Get Your Hands Dirty

  1. Julia, there is something about seeing an area clear of weeds, isn’t there? Pulling those little (or big) buggers up and seeing the root at the other end of the plant is indeed cathartic. :):

    The analogy of weeds being like sin in our lives is spot on. I so appreciate your suggestions for how to pull the sin in our lives out by the root. We do need to be humble enough to ask God to reveal to us areas of sin in our lives. Great post!

  2. This is such an important topic, yet we shy away from it. We like the comfortable things like “Jesus loves me” and “Do not be afraid.” But there is so much to learn from what God says about sin. Thank you for taking the time to write about it!

  3. Julia,
    I love this post! It does hurt to get to the root of our sin and to prune, pluck, and pull it away. But it is so worth it because we find freedom on the other side of that pain – a freedom we would never experience if we hadn’t gotten rid of the weeds. I’m sharing this and you as my featured #MomentsofHope Writer of the Week! Thank you so much for joining me. I always enjoy your words and leave feeling both encouraged and challenged.

    Blessings to you,

  4. Julia, I so enjoyed reading this post as I have a bunch of bulbs waiting to be planted 🙂 It’s true we pull out the weeds and it can be painful and tedious work (both physically and spiritually). But in so doing, we make room for new and beautiful growth.

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