I was looking at a plant in my living room the other day, and I realized the plant looked like it was close to outgrowing the planter it was in. I began to wonder if the plant would break out of the planter, and thought I should probably consider finding a new one for it. But it’s the perfect size for the space I want it in and if it was any bigger, I’d have to move it, but don’t have the space. Then I realized I have other plants in the house that seem to be larger than the pot they’re in too, but none of them break out.
Have you ever transferred a plant from one pot to another? Don’t you love that intricate maze of roots on the inside and how they form themselves to the shape of the planter around them? They make do with the room they are given.
This makes me think of two things in our lives.
- How resilient we can be as humans as we adapt to the spaces around us.
- How dangerous it can be as Christians when we conform to the world around us.
Whew. These are two really different ideas. Yet as Christians, it’s sometimes a fine line we walk between those two realities. We can be resilient creatures as we choose to adapt to those around us – even those who don’t have the same beliefs we do. We can be caring, understanding, accepting – to a point. It’s a good thing to adapt and accept change when we need to. It’s a good thing to be kind of everyone no matter what their beliefs. However, it becomes dangerous when we let it change who we are at our core.
You see, we shouldn’t be like that plant. We shouldn’t simply choose to accept the space we’re in and conform to it. Yes, the plant is still growing, still alive, but is it THRIVING? It is reaching its full potential? Could it be brighter, more colorful, have more impact if it simply broke out of the planter and had more room to grow?
Of course, I don’t really want my plant to do that. I like it where it is. I like it in the planter it’s in, and I’ll probably keep it that way. I’m the gardener in this case and the plant has to do what I say it can do. (Unless it goes all Little Shop of Horrors on me…)
And guess what? There are probably some people or circumstances in your life that would like to keep you in check like that too. Maybe you’re even doing it to yourself. How are you feeling restricted today? Maybe you’ve been conforming to what others say is right. Or maybe you’re believing some false truths in your life. Maybe someone’s feeding you lies about your faith or your worth in God’s eyes. Maybe it’s been holding you back in your ministry efforts or keeping you from having a deeper relationship with God.
In order to live healthy, faith-filled lives, we must not be constricted by the ways of this fallen planet. We can’t be like that plant, simply filling up the space we’re given. We have to break out. Reach out. Share our faith with others. Fellowship with other believers, soaking up the essential nutrients we get from fellowship. Ingesting the Word as our nourishment. Branching out our roots to both feed and be fed.
Consider what’s holding you back this week. Are you being properly nourished? Break out. Reach out. Feel the sun on your face. Soak up the Living Water. Connect with your Creator and feel His care in your life today.