While I was on my walk this morning, I noticed two kinds of houses in my neighborhood. Some houses looked attractive. They made feel comfortable and think, “I could be happy living here.” Other houses were off-putting. Their appearance made me feel uncomfortable and think, “I’d be pretty depressed if I lived there.”
After awhile, I noticed what the difference was between the two types of houses. The off-putting homes had weeds in the yard. Sometimes there were many large weeds that took over the yard. Other times, just a few weeds poked up here and there. The nice homes were weed free. The homes themselves were not constructed any differently, but someone was pulling every weed.
Immediately, I thought, “I’ve seen this same difference in Christians.” The Christians I enjoy being around (and the ones God uses to attract new believers) are weed-free. Not only are they saved, they daily make sure there are no weeds in their spiritual yards.
Unfortunately, I know a few Christians who have “weeds” in their lives. For instance I know a few Christians who constantly express bitterness against big business or the government. I am not a big defender of either, but a bitter person makes others feel uncomfortable.
I know a few men who regularly speak disrespectfully of their wives. They give them derogatory nick-names and joke about how incompetent they are. I know women (and a few men) whose favorite pastime is gossip.
The New Testament speaks consistently against bitterness, disrespect of spouses, and gossip. I know that these sins will not keep us out of heaven, but that is not the point. The point is that they are unattractive to others.
If I feel uncomfortable around Christian brothers and sisters who are careless about the weeds in their lives, how do pre-believers feel around them? No, I do not think those Christians with “little habits” of greed, bitterness, gossip, etc, will be kept out of heaven. I do wonder if those weeds will keep others from choosing heaven.