A thicket of royal blue flowers caught my attention. The matte green leaves swayed in the breeze, calmly holding elegant azure petals with a tiny yellow stigma in the center. How had they gone unnoticed? They did, after all, blossom atop the mulch beside my porch. The foreign flowers must have been planted by the wind or a cardinal.
“Dakota will think I planted these,” I reasoned. She will say that I’ve got a knack for flowers when she sees their splendor. “I need to figure out what these are so I know what to call them.” Unfortunately for me, the research destroyed my boasting. Although they had the appearance of lovely orchids, they were dayflower weeds—a nuisance! Dayflower weeds are pesky, invasive, nutrient-stealing gremlins that have no place in a flower bed. They sure fooled me. The reality is, some weeds look like flowers.
One of Scripture’s most grim teachings is that many outwardly righteous people appear to be flowers—true believers. But they might be weeds disguised as flowers—unbelievers. Your outward appearance may be elegantly beautiful. You may draw everyone’s attention by your impressive good works. You may check every Christian box with a bold mark. And you may fool every passerby, but you will not fool the Lord God (Gal. 6:7a).
The staggering truth is that you are a weed waiting to be burned if you have never truly exercised repentance and faith toward Christ alone for salvation (Acts 17:30; Eph. 2:8-9). Jesus once spoke about this in Matthew 13:
“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn” (vv. 24-30).
Everyone’s true spiritual condition will be revealed on the Last Day when God reaps the field of the world. It is God’s job to do the reaping—not ours. Our job is to see that everyone becomes wheat by faith in Christ, so that they can be gathered into the barn of God’s kingdom. Until then, false believers may look like true believers. Weeds will grow among wheat, and weeds may imitate flowers.
Bible Gleanings is a weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. In the event that the column is not posted online, it is be posted for reading here.