By Larry R. Houchen
It seems that the majority of people enjoy growing and maintaining yards which are virtually free from weeds. A neat looking yard is one to be proud of and one which enhances the house setting. However, there always seems to be one in the neighborhood who allows just weeds to dominate his yard, creating an “eye-sore” for the whop neighborhood. The fellow who lives just across the cul-de-sac from us is just such a person. The way he shows little concern in regard to his yard is parallel to the way some brethren regard their erring brethren.
This neighbor of ours moved into, his brand new house almost two years ago. A tractor with a rototiller rig had leveled his property and had made it suitable for planting. Within weeks his yard was one mass of weeds. A few weeks later he cut off low-hanging limbs and piled them in the back of his yard. Every few weeks the neighbor would have his boy cut the weeds with the mower. After a year and one-half of mowing around the pile of limbs, the weeds in the midst of the pile had grown quite high. Finally, much to our relief, last April our neighbor had the limbs hauled away. He then rented a tractor with a rototiller and prepared his ground for planting. (Although he left the weeds that were growing along the curb and other places which. required manually pulling out the weeds, it was a step in the right direction). Our neighbor planted his grass seed. At last, it seemed as if a long awaited improvement had come! Finally our neighbor mowed his weeds down the other day.
Erring brethren are weeds which need to be properly taken care of. It amazed me that the apparent attitude of our neighbor was that the grass would smother out the weeds. Do you suppose erring brethren will be smothered out by ignoring them?
Yes, our neighbor mowed his weeds down, but the weeds are still there and spreading. His futile attempt to eliminate his weeds reminded me of a father who slapped his son’s hand and admonished him to be a good boy when the boy had deliberately set fire to the couch. Some brethren make a yearly (or sometimes not so frequent) pilgrimage to an erring brother’s house to plead with the brother to repent. In between times, or mowings, the “weed” continues to spread its bad seed. Do you suppose removing the “weed” in God’s way might help?
Brethren put much emphasis on baptism, and this they should, since baptism is a command of God which is often neglected. But brethren, let us “rightly divide the word of truth” and emphasize other matters which are neglected. (See Matt. 18:15-17; Rom. 16:17, 18; 1 Cor. 5; 2 Cor. 13:1, 2; 2 Thess. 3:6-15; 2 Jn. 9-11).
Truth Magazine XIX: 14, p. 218
February 13, 1975