What kind of garden did you grow up in? Was the garden of your youth weighty and wondrous or weedy and worrisome? What type of words were cultivated into your heart? And what type of words do you express toward others? This is important because words matter! Both the ones that come in and the ones that go out.
This has been an area of struggle in my life. Large segments of my life cutting words were spoken to win wars and silence opponents. I can honestly say that I didn’t have a robust inner library of tender hearted words to share. Kindness was foreign ground where I felt uncomfortable and completely out of place. I craved it. But when I tried kindness it felt awkward and phoney.
My weedy heart came to know Jesus in mid-life. The very first time I read about the Fruit of the Spirit, in the Bible, I sobbed knowing this wasn’t me and that I could never do this. Right there, my very first ‘never’ word was planted – it’s a weed. A horrible debilitating weed! Many growth inhibiting weeds were to follow, but for this blog we’ll focus on the process of cultivating a new heart.
Jesus taught us to think of our heart as a garden with different types of soil and different seasons/conditions that affect the implanted seed. God is the gardener that plants His seed (His Word) into our heart. He cultivates the soil of our heart to help the seed germinate and sprout. He is working in our hearts to both uproot weeds and grow the seed He plants in us. He is also doing this in everyone around us. His seed is everywhere. What He plants in our hearts flows into our speech and is heard by our friends, family, coworkers etc.. He is always speaking!
The struggle happens when God is trying to change the soil of our heart. Jesus taught us that God seeds three different types of soil; seed on the path, seed on stony ground, seed in briars and thorns (weeds), and seed in dark soil. The seed planted in dark fertile soil produces a harvest. He even tells us how this happens. The seed on fertile soil is received, accepted, then it bears fruit. This seed becomes effective weighty words that speaks truth in love, and life to us and others! (See Mark 4:1-20).
In another area of the Bible God speaks about His word (seed) being like rain and snow that water’s the ground “making it bud and flourish so that it gives seed to the sower and bread for the eater” and does not return to Him without accomplishing what He sent it for. This is the truth we need to battle those ‘never’ lies and confront our ways that are not from Him. Not just truth to know, but truth to trust! (See Isaiah 55:10-11)
Types of Weedy Words:
- Words that wound another’s spiritual growth.
- Find sounding arguments of human wisdom.
- Words that speak lies that directly contravene the Truth and Wisdom of God.
- Words that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God.
- Words that divide the body of Christ.
Types of Weighty Words:
- Fruit of the Spirit; Love, Joy, Peace, Goodness, Kindness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Patience, and Self Control.
- Truth found is God’s Word spoken in Love.
- Words that tell others who they are in Christ.
- Words that extend Grace.
- Gentleness when confronting those who have sinned against us.
- Words that encourage faith and trust in God
- Words that share the Gospel – That God Loves You & Jesus is the Way to a Restored Relationship with A Holy God.
- Words that help others find their way in God’s ways.
- Godly Wisdom.
- Words that help others see Jesus in us.
We all have weedy hearts and speak weedy words. The process of allowing God to cultivate His seed into our hearts lasts a lifetime. We are growing even when we don’t think we are. Let’s commit ourselves to nourish one another with Godly seeds of encouragement while watching for tender sprouts of breakthrough as Oaks of Righteousness are in the making!
If you struggle in this area please know that you are not alone. God is at work cultivating your heart. Be patient with yourself, you are growing! Extend Grace to yourself, it is sufficient! Try to focus on the encouraging words you have shared and not so much on the weedy moments. Stay in the word of God and pray that God’s seed be planted in the dark soil of your heart, while declaring that His word will prosper in your life and accomplish what He desires. Most importantly trust Him and His ways, asking Him for His words particularly when your emotions are elevated. He’s with you in it all and He is not disappointed when you mess up. Just keep getting up, seeking His ways, and trying again.