A farmer friend talked about his five grandchildren. “They’re growing like pigweeds,” he said, laughing.

He explained that a single plant seems harmless enough but if you look closely at it, the pigweed plant contains hundreds of seeds and, before you know it, the one weed has multiplied and taken over an entire field.

He wasn’t complaining, of course. Simply making an observation about how fast the children were growing up and how easily they could consume all of his time.

As he described the pigweed, though, it sounded like a great analogy to sin. How often we start with a tiny sin, thinking it won’t hurt anything if we tell a tiny white lie or enjoy a brief flirtation. But before we know it, the seeds planted in that one action have spread and multiplied. Eventually, the weeds choke out the blessings, and we turn away from God’s Word. We may think God has abandoned us, but it’s really us who have ignored Him.

Jesus talked about this in the parable of the Sower: “Other [seeds] are sown among thorns; these are the ones who hear the word, but the worries of this age, the seduction of wealth, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful” (Mark 4:18-19, HCSB).

Fortunately, the Bible also promises, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9, HCSB).

With God’s help, we can eliminate those nuisance pigweeds from our lives.

But grandchildren? They’re never a nuisance. After all, since pigweed is edible, it can be desirable if kept under control. I think that’s a different lesson.