Matthew 13:7 “Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.”
Before I could fully answer the phone with “Hello”, my oldest son quickly chimes in “Ma, Thousand Island dressing does NOT taste like dirt.” Confused, I paused before asking him what he was talking about. “Remember when I was a kid, we were at Barnhill’s restaurant and I asked you to put Thousand Island dressing on my salad and you said no, because it tastes like dirt?” I could not recall such a conversation, although I know I dislike Thousand Island dressing. “All this time I thought Thousand Island was nasty, but I tried it at camp and it’s really good.”
We talked about his new found love for Thousand Island dressing and how he remembered that conversation in the restaurant from many years ago. For years, he’d turn down the offering of Thousand Island dressing for a more familiar flavor because his mom, someone he loved and trusted, told him it was not good. I started to feel really bad because I allowed my thoughts and preferences to influence his opinion of something that was a completely different experience for him. I should have given him the opportunity to try it for himself.
That conversation with my son really convicted my heart and made me take a deeper look at how I’ve been influencing those around me. Do I speak negatively about my personal preferences, my church home, work, my community, or anything else that causes people in my circle of influence to take on an unfair or even inaccurate opinion about those things? Do I speak negatively about people to others, causing them to unfairly view that person from my own personal perspective?
Sunday, Pastor Wilson taught on the Parable of the Sower and how we have to be ever mindful that our hearts are always fertile and ready to receive the Word of God, allowing it to be deeply rooted. It was verse 7 of Matthew 13 that reminded me of the conversation with my son: “Other seed fell among the thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.” How often do we become the thorns and weeds in people’s lives? How often do we take our own hurts, opinions, disappointments, dislikes, insecurities, and we project them on someone else? How often do we allow our words to become the thorns that choke others out of their blessings?
Sometimes we don’t even realize how impactful our words can be, especially when we are expressing our personal opinions. We have to be mindful that we are not choking blessings and growth in our families, relationships, ministries, communities, work, etc. We have to be careful how we speak about the work at hand in the Kingdom of God and the people behind the work. We must learn to allow those within our circle of influence to grow as God has called them to and not according to how we think is best. Let’s choose today to burn away those thorny parts of our lives and allow God to plant his seeds of love, compassion, joy and peace in our hearts so that what we produce in return, is only reflective of Him.
Heavenly Father, I thank you for everyone you have put in my circle of influence to speak about your goodness and mercy. God, cleanse my heart so that my words and opinions don’t choke away the blessings and spiritual growth you may have for someone else. God continue to teach me how to love you first, and more than anything. And thank you for your son, Jesus. It’s in his name, Amen!
By: Min April Carter