News from the Tennessee Valley Religion

Rev. Truman Harris

Seek strong roots and nurturing soil in garden of relationships

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 3:8, “He who plants and he who waters are one, but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.”

When we put out our garden plants, do we blame the plants if they do not grow well? We usually look for a reason they are not growing. Does the garden have good soil? Is it well drained? Does it need more fertilizer? Have we watered too much? Too little? Enough sunshine? Too shady? Has the grass choked the roots? Have insects damaged the plants?

You never blame the plants. Yet when we have trouble with our friends or family, we often accuse them. But in reality, if we know how to take care of them, they will “grow” well, like plants in our gardens. Blaming has no positive effect at all.

In our “garden of relationships,” it is our job as caretaker to seek the most nurturing soil and climate. We must uproot the weeds of negativity and self-righteousness and protect the tender plants from the heat of jealousy and harsh words of anger. When we apply God’s love and care in our dealings with the people in our lives, our relationships will most certainly grow and flourish.

A great man once said, “See everything; overlook a great deal; correct a little.”

A farmer looked at his soybean fields. Rain had been plentiful and the fields were lush and green. When asked about the good crop to come, the farmer said the harvest was in danger. He said the rain had been so heavy the plants did not have to put down deep roots to find water. Thus, if a drought hit, the plants would shrivel and die.

Some Christians receive abundant “rains” of worship, fellowship and Bible teachings. Yet when stress enters their lives, many suddenly abandon God or come to the conclusion that he is unfaithful. Their roots have never pushed much beneath the surface.

Only roots that have grown deep into God help us endure times of drought that come to all of us from time to time. The key is found in Colossians 2:6-7: “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: Rooted and built up in Him, established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”

Is there someone you need to pray for or talk to concerning your relationships and feelings? If the answer is yes, do it today.

The Rev. Truman Harris, pastor of Community South Church of God in Decatur, is one of several local ministers writing religion columns for The Daily. For more info, call Melanie Smith at 340-2468.

Rev. Truman Harris Rev. Truman Harris

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