Wednesday, January 05, 2005
WHEAT OR WEED?
Buddy wearing his chew toy.
Wheat or Weed
by Janice Price
I had to look a second time to believe what I was seeing. There was a peculiar face among the cats watching me move kitchen cabinets.
My brother’s puppy, Buddy, has been staying here since the weekend before Christmas. He’s become one of the family, so much so that he has taken to sleeping in the chair/bed I fashioned for Jenny, the oldest cat. Jenny is blind. She climbs onto a round scratching post, onto her chair/bed, up the back of the chair to the washing machine, and walks over to the dryer, where the dry cat food bowl rests, safely out of reach of my dog and Doug’s puppy.
Seeing Buddy among the cats wasn’t a surprise, but seeing him sitting so proudly with them on top of the washing machine was.
He was glaringly different and easy to spot. He was the ten-pound, brown-nosed, floppy-eared misfit, trying to blend in with the group.
While I have no problem spotting the puppy among the cats, I can’t spot false Christians from among the flock as easily. They don’t stand out as different because they blend in so well with how we think a Christian ought to live. They can attend every church service, serve on committees, help feed the hungry, visit the elderly, pray eloquently and quote Scripture. They speak the right words, do the right deeds, dispense hospitality, and often others look at them and exclaim, "I want to be like Joe and Jane, with a solid marriage and well-behaved children brought up in the faith." We can’t, however, see what is in their hearts or in their minds.
Some of these examples we seek to follow are legitimate, but such a life can be a sham, a public persona that might fool us but never fools God. He knows which are his children and which are imposters.
In Matthew 13, verses 24-30, we find the parable of the wheat and the weeds, where the enemy sowed weeds among the owner’s good wheat seed, so that they sprouted and grew together. The owner was aware of this and told his servants not to pull up the weeds because they might uproot some of the wheat.
The enemy is cunning but he won’t prevail. When harvest time comes and God separates the wheat from the weeds, we will undoubtedly find many surprises. Some of the "perfect Christians" might be missing and instead we might find some of the folks we looked down on in this life. Since God looks on the penitent and humble heart, not on education, social status or outward appearance, we can rejoice in the hope of salvation, no matter how lowly our station in this life.
I know my cats, so I knew Buddy was not one of them. He was an imposter, pretending to be a cat, with the intention of reaching the bowl of food on the dryer.
God is aware of those who don’t belong to him, no matter how well-camouflaged they are in any group. He also knows his own.
© 2005 Janice Price