There is only one reason weeds grow out of control in a garden - because no one took the proper time and care to uproot and remove them. When the garden is choked by weeds, the gar­dener can't complain, "I just don't know how this happened! How did this occur right under my nose?" It occurred because he was being irresponsible with his garden. If he'd been exercising the proper amount of diligence, he would have known that weeds were about to get the best of him. His lack of diligence is the reason his garden got into this mess!

Hebrews 12:15 says, "Looking diligently.…" It takes diligence to keep your heart in good shape. The only way you can stay free of the weeds the devil wants to sow in your "garden" is to be attentive, careful, thorough, and meticulous about the condition of your own heart. Don't expect others to take care of your heart for you either. It's your heart!

Also, don't make excuses for the rotten attitudes that fill your thoughts about people who sup­posedly did you wrong. Even if they really did commit a wrong against you, was it necessary or bene­ficial to permit the devil to fill you with putrid feelings of bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness? Get over it! What good does it do to let the offense fester inside you until you are inwardly eaten up by its bad memory?

As long as you blame everyone else for the bitterness that rages inside, you'll never walk free. The only way you can get over the offense and walk free of your emotional prison is by accepting responsibility for your own heart.

If someone deliberately sows bad seeds in our "garden" in an effort to hurt or destroy us, God will deal with them. But if we know bad seed has been sown in our hearts and we just ignore it, allow­ing it to take root and grow unchecked, God will deal with us.

  • God will hold others responsible for what they do to us. 
  • God will hold US responsible for what we allow to go on inside our minds and hearts. 
  • We cannot answer for the actions of other people. 
  • We will answer for our inward responses to what others have done to us.

Since the phrase "looking diligently" is from the Greek word episkopos, implying that you are the bishop of your own heart, what are you going to do about the negative and wrong attitudes that are trying to take root in your soul right now? Are you going to let them fester, take root, and begin to produce bad fruit in your life? Or are you going to take the initiative to rip out those attitudes by the roots so your heart can stay free?

Never forget that you are the bishop of your heart. It is your heart, and you are the only one with the authority to decide what does and doesn't go on inside of you. In light of this truth, what are you doing to do about the situation you are facing right now? Forgive and let it go, or hang on to that grievance and let it grow? The choice is yours!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, help me keep my heart free of offense! You have given me authority over my own will, mind, and emotions, so I know I have the authority to tell offense that it has no right to dwell inside me. I refuse to blame everyone else for the mess I've allowed to grow inside my heart - and today I am asking You to help me, Holy Spirit, to quit making excuses for the wrong attitudes I've permitted to grow in my life. With Your supernatural help, I am mak­ing the choice to repent, to turn from these destructive thoughts, and to replace them with thoughts and words of kindness for those who have caused me hurt or grief in the past.

I pray this in Jesus' name!