I think there are two lessons here—when you take out all the bad in your life, you had better fill it up with good fast or you will just have more room for evil to flourish. Jesus told his own parable about that—the house that was swept clean and the demons who moved into it, Matt 12:43-45.
But did you know this? “Weed killer” is really a misnomer. It is “plant killer.” Most of those sprays cannot differentiate between one green thing and another. They don’t look for dollar weed and avoid the petunias. You have to be careful with the weed killer.
Too often we are not as careful as we should be when spraying the spiritual weed killer. In our zeal to rid the world of false teaching and sin, we can do a fine job of killing the new plants too. Just as a policeman is taught to be careful of who is standing behind the fleeing criminal before he shoots, we must be careful of innocent bystanders who may be caught in the crossfire.
Knowledge carries with it great responsibility in how we use it. Too often it comes with a lack of experience and wisdom and that ice cold new term, collateral damage, becomes a frightening reality to young souls. How are we any different from the wolves when our zeal leaves bloodied and broken lambs lying around us in a heap? Many times what is passed off as zeal is simply a selfish desire to look knowledgeable and strong in the faith. Even Satan used the scriptures for his own purposes. Jesus also told a parable about leaving the weeds in the field because they had become so entangled it would have killed the wheat to pull them out, Matt 13:24-30. He had to restrain his workers who were anxious to go out and rid the world of the enemy regardless who else was hurt.
None of which is to say that even the wise will never make a mistake. Knowing when to do what can be a difficult call to make. Usually the ones who criticize, though, are the ones who sit back and do nothing when the wolves
enter the flock, never placing themselves and their decisions at risk
Just think about this today: be careful with the weed killer. At times, when Keith needed to use it in spite of new plants already growing nearby, he has used shields over the tender shoots and reached in closer than usual to the weeds so that he could better control his aim.
Always be careful with the word of God. It’s powerful stuff.
And he said unto his disciples, It is impossible but that occasions of stumbling should come; but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were well for him if a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, rather than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble. Luke 17:1,2.