Two Gardens

A vegetable garden in a greenhouse.

TWO GARDENS

It’s that time of year when people start to plant gardens. Gardens don’t just happen. I once tried to plant a garden, but it was not a successful endeavor. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I did learn some lessons that I can share.

Our minds are like a garden. Solomon wrote, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7) It’s disastrous if the garden in our minds is not successful. We have to be intentional about planting the right kind of thoughts in our minds because what we plant in the garden of our minds is what will be produced in our lives. “Don’t be misled…You will always harvest what you plant.” (Galatians 6:7)

There are three steps to producing a good garden.

SEED – is the first step. Choose the right seeds. What you produce depends on the seeds that are planted. You can’t plant squash seeds and expect those seeds to produce tomatoes. A seed determines what the product will be.

The same is true in our minds. What we put into our minds is what our actions will be. If we plant ugly, lustful, mean, unforgiving, selfish, negative thoughts in our minds – that’s exactly what our lives will produce. Plant the seeds of the fruit of the spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22)

FEED – is the second step. Once the seeds are planted, you have to feed the soil properly with water and fertilizer. A lot of research has gone into the best way to feed in order to produce healthy plants.

The same is true of our minds. We have to feed our minds with strong, positive, Godly thoughts. We must feed our minds on the things that we want to see produced in our lives. Seeds in the garden will dry up and perish without proper nutrients. A plant without water droops and dies. An opportunity that God gives us in our minds will droop and die if it is not fed properly through prayer, Bible study, and wise counsel. How well are we feeding the seeds in our minds?

Paul gives good advice for feeding the garden of your mind. He says, “Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (Phil 4:8)

WEED – is the third step. A good garden has to be constantly weeded. There are a lot of weeds and vines that would like to come in and steal all the good feed that you’re giving the seeds. The weeds begin to grow. If they are left unchecked, they will outgrow the seed and choke the life from them. Jesus reminds us that if weeds are allowed to grow among the seeds, the weeds will shoot up and choke the tender blades of the plants, and they will produce no harvest. (Mark 4:7)

Weeding means that we have to dig up the weed, including the roots. Clipping the top of the weed doesn’t eliminate it. The same thing is true in our minds. It is impossible to avoid having the weeds of bad thoughts, negative feelings, sorry attitudes, sins,  etc. They grow quickly. But we must ask God to remove them at the root. Sin, like weeds, is destructive. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:19)

Does the garden of your mind need focus on the seed – or the feed – or the weed – or all 3 of them?

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