According to the University of Arizona’s College of Agriculture, grafting and budding are methods of asexual plant propagation that join plant parts so they will grow as one plant. These techniques are used to propagate cultivars that will not root well as cuttings or whose own root systems are inadequate. One or more new cultivars can be added to existing fruit and nut trees by grafting or budding. What I gather this means is they take two parts of two different plants and shove them together. The hope is the strengths from the two will combine and drive out the weaknesses to form a super plant. What am I telling you this? James. The Give Me Faith series.
19Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. ~James 1:19-21
That word implanted is more accurately engrafted. I wanted to know what that meant if God was going to do it to me, you know? Yeah, it doesn’t sound so simple. NO wonder this faith walk is so taxing. The area I’m being greatly challenged with this week is the idea that I am not the assessor of souls. So, here’s my confession for the day: I have played the assessor of souls. I have judged people based on their appearances. I have deemed one worthy of my time and the other unworthy. I have allowed one’s status in society to determine whether or not I will magnanimously dedicate time to said person. What a pompous buffoon I have been?! As if I really were qualified to make that decision?!
As I find God’s Word en-grafted into my heart, I find there is little room for my pride and arrogance. As He slices my heart open and places His love there, I find the first weakness in me to be attacked is the weakness of my own character. I am a woman of many faults and I am not as mature as I once thought. As he begins to sew up the graft site and secure His love in place, I find that the new addition is quite uncomfortable. Love and disdain cannot occupy the same space where people are concerned. As His love begins to grow in me, I find that my ideas of who is worthy and who is not worthy begin to change and transform as well. As I look at the word “filthiness and rampant wickedness” it would be easy to bring to mind the murders, pedophiles, rapists, and injurers of the innocent. But this letter was written to people in the church. The audience was not primarily filled with such filth or wickedness, at least that’s my thinking. What if the “filthiness and rampant wickedness” were the words James was using to describe the arrogance, smugness, disdain, and scorn that was considered to be common with regard to those who were not only poor in material wealth but poor in spirit as well. I’m guilty of those things. I am guilty. The grafting process is a painful process, but I can’t help but wonder if this may be the only way to get a regenerated heart. If so, then bring on the pain.
Until another confession…