Recently, I was having a stressful day. I had some things on my mind, and I was tired of doing child care. I told my husband I needed a break. He went outside and came back in a half-hour later.
“I weed-eated around the fence line, the shed, the swing set and everything else out there,” he said, referring to the back yard. “Why don’t you go mow the rest?”
Lest you think my husband was being particularly insensitive, I must tell you that I actually enjoy mowing (except the detail work, which he had just taken care of). Phil knows I like the simple mindlessness of the work, the basic-labor kind of joy in pushing the mower up and down our quarter-acre back yard. I also like doing a task that’s going to stay done and looking nice for longer than 30 seconds after I complete it.
So I jumped at the chance to go mow. The kids followed me outside and played on the swing set while I mowed. Up and down. Back and forth. Watching the patch yet to be mowed growing smaller and smaller. I felt like I was truly accomplishing something.
At one point, I looked back over an area I had just mowed to make sure I got it all. I saw one long blade of grass sticking up in the midst of an otherwise well-mowed section of lawn. I knew that one blade didn’t matter all that much, but I went back and mowed it down anyway. Why? Because I wanted to do the job right.
We’d all do well to take the same approach when uprooting sin from our lives. Yet too often, we leave one blade of sin sticking up, and we say to ourselves, "Well, that’s good enough." But it isn’t. It’s not doing the job right.
Jesus didn’t die on the cross so that we could be forgiven of some of our sins, or even most of them. He sacrificed Himself so all our sins could be forgiven. He did the job right. And aren’t we glad? Aren’t we grateful that everything we’ve done is forgiven, not just the things that wanted to lie down and die easily on the first pass over them?
Why, then, do we only take some of the sins in our life seriously enough to make sure they are mowed down? God has commanded us to be holy. Not “kind of” holy, not “sort of” holy, but completely holy. He even gives us a promise, through the apostle Paul, that if we don’t put sin to death in our lives, we will die, but if we do, we will live.
I want to live abundantly, and I bet you do too. But we can only do so to the extent we are willing to give up known sin. To put it to death. To mow it down. To the extent that we tolerate sin in our lives, we won’t fully live.
What sins are sticking up in your life right now? What sins have you been tolerating because you think they aren’t that big a deal, or because, hey, at least you mowed the rest of them down?
Precious mom, mow the whole yard. Put to death every sin that you find in your life. If you think you’re done, ask God to point out anything else to put to death, and see what He shows you.
Your life may still look pretty good even with that one sin sticking up in the middle. But you won’t be as fully alive as you could be.
Go mow it down.
Romans 8:13: "For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live."
By Megan Breedlove from www.mannaformoms.com.
For the month of August we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Charisma. Join us for giveaways each weekday, pages from our past, and more. We're including an anniversary special where you can get 40 issues of Charisma for only $40!