Pulling Weeds

SOMEBODY has to do it! In our family, everyone loves to plan the garden, but few of us really enjoy weeding. My own reluctance to take a turn at the hard but necessary work of pulling weeds from the vegetable garden got me to thinking about a different kind of weeding--one important to the well-being of all of us. It concerns pulling out mental weeds from thought. These "weeds are the lies and deceptions we're tempted to accept about ourselves and others.The truth is, man is wholly spiritual, created and cared for by God. This is our only real identity. And when we understand the divine nature, we see that it includes no evil. One of the cherished messages of the Bible is that God Himself is good and has not a single element of evil. So it stands to reason that God makes His creation, man, like Himself, free from evil of any kind. Greed, lust, anger, hatred, jealousy, and so forth are no part of God's wholly good, wholly spiritual creation. These "weeds are foreign to God because they are totally unlike Him and are clearly not good. But because they are not God-created, they are not natural to man. They have, in fact, no power to invade man's genuine, spiritual identity. As we begin to understand this fact, it becomes easier to remove these undesirables. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says: "Evil is not power. It is a mockery of strength, which erelong betrays its weakness and falls, never to rise. This effort of evil to mock, or imitate, spiritual reality was brought home to me as I read Christ Jesus' parable of the tares and wheat one day. As Matthew records the parable, a man sowed wheat in a field. Then an enemy planted tares in the field. Do you know what a tare is? It is a poisonous weed that looks very much like wheat until both come to maturity. One lesson for me in this story is that weeds in thought need to be overcome. And that's just what Jesus' parable points out. The man instru cted his servants: "Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. As I thought about the story I realized that no matter how hard weeds try to disguise themselves, they are always identifiable as weeds. It may take earnest prayer and honest examination of our thinking, but with God's help we can learn to identify what needs rooting out. Another thing I saw was that the wrong thinking doesn't really come from us. When you think about it, it couldn't! All that belongs to man comes from God because man is God's offspring. Since God is the creator of all, and He creates only good, evil has no real source. We can eliminate negative, wrong thoughts from our thinking on this basis of their unreality. We can also welcome in the pure, purposeful, Godlike thoughts that naturally belong to man as God's creation. Isn't that really what brings a full harvest of good into our lives? Because God is in fact all-powerful and always present, nothing unlike Him can have any power. And as we recognize more of our genuine, spiritual selfhood, we can defeat the weeds. Prayer is the means God provides to help with our weeding. Prayer is active communion with God. It is vigorous but calm mental activity that helps us see more of what God actually is and of what He is doing now for man. Prayer is powerful and effective. As we pray diligently, we'll find ample antidote for the weeds. And we'll be faithful in our weeding because even if we don't love the task of weeding, we'll love the results!

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