By Joan Clayton: PNT Religion Columnist
My husband bought me a present … a weed eater. In fact he bought me three.
He finally found one that I can start all by myself. Now I can “weed eat” any time I want to do so. He’s glad because he doesn’t have to crank up the weed eater when I see a weed.
Weeds bother me. I like to “weed” them out. I’ve learned something else from weed eating. When I cut them out, they are gone! I am resolved to do the same thing with negative thinking and speaking. I really cut deep wiping those weeds out in my yard. I will do the same with “weedy” thoughts and words, including complaining.
I am so blessed that even a tiny complaint is most inappropriate. I’m turning over a new leaf. I resolve to stop complaining … about the weather, the government, and taxes … about anything. I will have to make a concerted effort, because things that tempt me to complain surround me.
A complaining hearts tends to be ungrateful. With so many blessings around me, how dare I be “thankless?” A grateful heart is a loving heart. I need to remind myself that my only real security in this life is in Jesus. It is not in fortune, fame, possessions or any other substitute. These are all temporary things that can be taken away in an instant. I must remember that heaven is my eternal goal and my daily focus is on godly living.
I believe complainers lose a lot of joy. Failing to recognize the good in situations robs daily blessings. Taking for granted anything in this life God has so graciously given, leads to misery that is full of complaints.
I will strive to be content with what I have and to be grateful for each blessing. I want to find the good in every circumstance. I want to lift up, not tear down. I want to be an encourager.
Weeds come up before you know it. So do hasty remarks, sarcasm, criticism and yes, complaining. Thoughts and word have power. Wrong words can inflict terrible pain in someone’s life. Behind every hurt inflicted on others, an unkind thought preceded the angry words.
Negativity and worrisome thoughts steal joy out of life, causing all sorts of mental and physical problems. Allowing pesky “weeds” into our lives takes over and suddenly we find we are depressed and completely unaware of why.
I like to wipe out negative thinking like I do those weeds in my yard. I cut them out! I will not permit them to be my master. Neither will I allow wrong thoughts. I will cut them out too!
Philippians 4 (verse 8) has a wonderful tool in stopping the negative process. It tells of thinking about things that are honest, just, pure, lovely and good report.
I am also refusing to accept or entertain any self-criticizing thoughts. I can be my own worst critic. I will not put myself down because I am made in God’s image. I will not live in the past or in the future. Mistakes and regrets are in the past. I will “press on toward the mark,” leaving the past behind because I am a new creature”
So what does all of this have to do with weeds? It means I reject worrisome thoughts. It means I’m clearing my mind of weedy, thorny, hateful, cutting remarks.
It means I’m after weeds in my yard and in my mind.
I want to squeeze every day and love it. Since God has given me this day I vow to savor it and not waste it.
When a negative thought or word comes to mind, picture yourself with the weed eater… cutting it out!
It’s great for your thought life and your garden too!
By the way, I like my present. Thank you honey!
Joan Clayton is a retired teacher, author and religion columnist living in Portales. Contact her at: