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The excessive rain this summer has not stopped the weeds and crabgrass from growing in my flower bed. The weeds are, in fact, quite healthy. However, some of the flowering plants, like the petunias, marigolds, and dianthus, have not fared as well–not enough sunshine.

I planted lemon balm last year. It has a wonderful, lemony fragrance, but I understand why some people consider it a weed. It’s slowly taking over the flower bed. I have to ruthlessly pull up lemon balm plants, along with the weeds, and discard them to allow other flowers to thrive. The black-eyed Susans are budding, but they, too, can get out of control.

Several years ago I learned about purple loosestrife. It’s an attractive plant with spikes of purple flowers. Native to Europe, it came to this country as a garden flower. It escaped cultivation and has taken over wetlands, crowding out native plants that feed wildlife. It is useless as a wildlife food and difficult to eradicate. Other invasive species are dangerous to people as well as to native plants and animals.

The weeds in the garden are like sin in my life. When I don’t take time for God’s Word and prayer, my life becomes weedy. Gossip, procrastination, wasting time with unimportant details take over. A critical attitude and bad thoughts lead to anger, frustration, and sometimes bitterness. Like the loosestrife and other invasive plant species, the longer I allow sin to invade my life, the harder it is to eradicate it.

God’s Word, Philippians 4:8, says to cultivate what is good in my life. “…whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.” (NKJV) Thinking right leads to doing right.

I want the garden of my life to reflect the beauty of Christ and bear the fruit of the Spirit as I meditate on His Word.