Planting seeds or weeds?
Ephesians 4:29 – Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Ephesians 4:31-32 – Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.
I remember reading something similar to this when I was younger. I used to see these types of verses as ‘rules’ we need to stick to in order to be a ‘good person’, like when our parents ban us from saying any naughty words or from cursing.
But now I look at this verse differently. I see my heart almost as a garden. When someone encourages me, a seed gets planted. Over time it will grow a root, then a stem and then eventually bloom into a beautiful flower.
When someone says something negative to me, whether it’s an insult or a form of condemnation, a seed also gets planted. Over time, much quicker than I may realise, it will grow a root and grow into a weed, which will then grow more weeds.
We are planting seeds in other people’s hearts, whether we like it or not. It may be through the words we say, or maybe even the words we don’t say.
We need to decide whether we want to be planting flowers or weeds – words of encouragement or words of negativity, bitterness and resentment.
If someone else plants a weed in your heart – make the choice to not water it. Decide to pull the root out before it grows and changes your heart.
Forgiveness isn’t always easy, but it’s never impossible. It takes courage and prayer. Ask Jesus to help you through the process of forgiveness. Pray for peace in the situation and guidance on how to show grace when you least feel like it.
People aren’t perfect – none of us ever will be. But you have the ability to protect your heart, as well as lifting up someone else’s. Treat others how you expect to be treated.