Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17

Crabgrass literally took over our yard this summer!  Where Tall Fescue once flourished, the web-like tentacles grew.  We tried to hold back the tide, but no such luck.  With each weekly mowing, the seeds spread into the healthy grass and turned a lush blanket into a bumpy mess.


Granules, sprays, and secret mixes were put down regularly, but to no avail.  The chemicals were no match for the hearty growth.  The decision had to be made, either tear up the lawn and start all over, or try another way. We were losing the battle with the status quo.



I stepped out on our deck this week and looked down on the yard below.  There, I saw the remnants of our recent efforts against this mighty foe; the bare patches in-between the broader green. Our decision was obvious—we kept intact the healthy parts, but removed the damaged areas.



John Ortberg writes in The Me I Want to Be,  “God wants to redeem you, not exchange you… God wants you to become a new creation. But new doesn’t mean completely different; instead it’s like an old piece of furniture that gets restored to its intended beauty.” (great book by the way, a must have for the go to library)


Ortberg nailed it.    My yard confirmed it.


Somewhere it happened that a fallacy took hold, saying if you give a nod to Jesus, if you accept Him into your life, and if you dare call yourself a follower of His—that you will become someone you are not.  That being a Christian strips away….you.  Wrong!


We don’t lose what makes up our being.  We don’t suddenly become completely opposite in personalities and temperaments.  Introverts don’t become the life of the party; extroverts don’t suddenly hide in the corner; your desire to lead the meeting, or to shrink in the farthest seat in the back of the boardroom, doesn’t reverse itself.  If this is your fear, it’s misplaced.  And, it’s also not about doing mea culpas everyday for being something you are not. That is not the change Jesus calls us to accept—quite the contrary.


How do I know?  There are 12 examples given to us.


Twelve men signed up for the task of following Jesus.  They laid down their nets, their pens, their scrolls—they were given a mission.  Wonderful!


And yet, in those Twelve, we get a very clear picture that God never removed the make-up of who those men were at their core.  Peter remained a type-A, constant foot-in-the mouth, fisherman at heart, disciple.  John remained a man who needed affirmation and recognition.  Matthew, the consummate business man, kept his connections.   They were themselves, just better.  They held their passions, but became focused.  They came to realize a life with, was better than a life without.


It took a yielding heart.


As I see new sprouts already in our many patches of soil, I am in wonderment how He does the same in the souls of man; cutting out the crabgrass and replacing it with new life. Where we think there is no hope, there is. When we think the tentacles of deceit will overrun us, they won’t. When we think only emptiness will prevail, it doesn’t.


And in the course of learning that, we still get to remain the person we’ve come to recognize in the mirror.  The gifts we have been given are made better—not removed.  The passions that move us become clearer—not stifled.  The reason for living this life becomes more purposeful—not isolated.


Fear keeps us from removing the crabgrass.  Fear that if we cut out the parts, the whole will be damaged.  Fear that if we say yes to Jesus, our life will be lost.  But in my yard, I can see a very tangible and living example of how very wrong this thinking is.  There may be momentary patches of space, but new life quickly takes its place.


Hope in Motion:

(We have made it very easy for all our readers to have an instant view of the Bible verses we reference. Simply click on the verse and it comes up.  (You will even have an option for an audio version if you want!)  Then close out, and you will return back to us. Easy.)

  1.  Ezekiel 11:19 is a direct message from God, through the prophet, to the people of Israel.  Do you think this ties into this posting?
  2. Ask God to examine the lawn of your heart, to cut out the crabgrass that is growing, and replace it with renewed life.
  3. Is your heart ready to yield?

4 Replies

  1. Lori Perez

    I really like this one. Many times I feel my self saying that I shouldn’t do certain things because of being a Christian and then I am reminded that the Lord wants us to laugh and have fun and that you can do that as long as you have the Lord in your heart. Thank you for writing about this. It does come at a good time. the book is a good one to have in your library.

    1. Hi Lori (I’m filling in for Renae as she takes a short break). I too liked this post. It’s a great reminder that God created us with our personalities and traits, and when “crabgrass” invades, we can be sure He will work in us to clear it away and let new growth emerge – if we let Him. As always, we appreciate your comments.

  2. Lori West

    Great post! I did find that God put my talents and skills in place for Him to use once I became a Christian. He worked on my bad habits and sin right away but never took those things from me that made me….me. I’m still an organizer, leader, type A personality. I just accomplish tasks with a totally different attitude because He has been gracious enough to humble me.

    1. You have it spot on Lori! I, too, feel deeper in my “good” passions, and more convicted in those that cause me struggles. Isn’t it a great promise He gives us?

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