Life seems much easier when we can divide things into simple categories – black or white, good or bad, and the like. And, to be fair, many things can be this simple. But it’s also true that weeds are often planted among the wheat and it takes time and discernment to sort everything through.
Of course, we’re prone to make excuses and justify what we want to do when God has already spoken clearly on an issue. But at other times the good and the bad are mixed together, and it’s hard to separate the two without also throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
For instance, we were created to work and work is a good thing. But seeds of pride and idolatry can also sneak into our hearts – making it hard to know when our work is in service of love, or merely just stroking our own ego and feeding our need for control.
God also created us as sexual beings, and there’s profound wonder and beauty reflected in our sexual nature. At the same time, many perversions also creep in. Wisdom reminds us to keep an eye on the good and the bad without assuming simplistic all-or-nothing positions either way.
Likewise, as we pursue relationships, advocate for causes, or even offer acts of generosity to others, we often do so with mixed motivations.
The point here is not to overcorrect by cutting down all the wheat just to avoid the weeds. Nor is it passively allowing evil to grow in our kingdom when we have the opportunity to eradicate it.
Certainly, there comes a time to separate the two. But often we must grow in patience and allow the messiness of mixed motivations for a time until God gives us the wisdom and discernment to untangle them.
In the end, things are not always as simple as they seem, as weeds are often planted among the wheat. Be patient and gracious with each other as God makes everything clear, even within our own hearts.