If you’ve read my book, The Knight’s Code, you know that in chapter 5—Discovering Your Lawn Language—I use the analogy of weeds in the yard likened to the sin in our lives. I talk about one spot where my neighbor’s yard comes up to my yard. This time of the year, the weeds in his yard, when they’re mowed, can look like the grass in my yard. But as the week goes, the weeds start to come up above the grass and you see the clear difference.
As the grass is starting to turn green now, I’m noticing that his weeds have now encroached into my yard. In fact, last year there was an almost perfectly straight line at our boundaries where the weeds stopped and my grass started. This year, as the grass comes out of dormancy, his weeds are a good two feet into my lawn. If I don’t take care of that soon, next year they’ll be four, maybe five feet, into my yard. Bottom line is they’re coming, whether I like it or not, notice it or not.
Here’s what’s just not fair to me . . . why couldn’t I walk over to that invisible boundary this year and see that my Bermuda Tiff 419 has actually taken over several feet into his yard?! We all know it just does not work that way.
Here’s the point. As guys, we tend to be just like that. If we don’t put up boundaries and precautions against the “weeds” around us, particularly in people we are with consistently, before we we know it, their “weeds” are over into our “yard.”
Now, this does not mean as Christians that we only hang out in “holy huddles.” We can be just as guilty of being a negative influence. But we must be pro-active about protecting ourselves from sin, habits, language, principles, and especially attitudes of others that we can take on and can take us down. Have you ever watched one person with a bad attitude slowly sour an entire group? Yeah, we’ve all seen that. Conversely, we have also seen someone with an infectious positive attitude affect a situation for the good. One person can change an entire room full of people.
So, with your family, your co-workers, and buddies, take note of where you are influencing and where you are being influenced. If you realize someone is influencing you in a wrong direction, it isn’t that person’s fault. You’re no victim! That understanding is a clear signal for you to take action to change the influence. In some cases, yes, it will mean you need to end, or for sure decrease, your time around that person. But in most cases, they don’t even have to know about your decision, you just have to put up some boundaries to make sure you and Jesus are doing the influencing.
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” —1 Corinthians 15:33
A thick bankroll is no help when life falls apart, but a principled life can stand up to the worst. Moral character makes for smooth traveling; an evil life is a hard life. Good character is the best insurance; crooks get trapped in their sinful lust. —Proverbs 11:4-6
So, is there any relationship or situation where you see some “weeds” have come over farther into your “yard” than they were last year, last month? Take some steps now to put up the proper boundaries to get yourself right and headed toward growth. Prayer, Scripture, and accountability are the best weapons of the faith to create boundaries, and yet at the same time, give you the utmost freedom. Be an influencer, then you can be a leader.