“What is the current state of your heart’s soil? Is it muddy, weedy, rocky, or clay? Exhausted, wild, or dry?”
The responses to those questions were what you’d expect from hard-working women on a weekend retreat: plenty of exhausted soil, three weedy women, and one wild woman.
But then Shelly chimed in with a question that stopped me cold: “What about contaminated soil? I’m surrounded by toxic relationships. I can’t change those.”
The theme of the retreat was “fruitfulness.” As the speaker, I’d explained how adding certain qualities changes our heart’s soil (see 2 Peter 1:5-7). Shelly’s question came just as we reached the theme verse: “For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:8).
I thought of my dad and his blueberries. To help his non-native bushes grow, he adds coffee grounds to alter the soil’s pH. His method works. Dad’s bushes burst with fruit. But what if it was a can of paint seeping poisons into the plant’s tender roots? What about those toxic influences we can’t escape? Can fruit come—even then?
To my relief, Susanne spoke up: “The solution to pollution is dilution. You can’t always remove toxins from the blood, but you can dilute them. You can insert an IV and those pure fluids will dilute.”
Susanne is a nurse. She knows.
We cannot always change our circumstances. We cannot end every toxic relationship, but we can nurture healthy friendships. We cannot avoid hearing negative words, but we can feed our minds Scripture’s pure truth (Psalm 19:8).
We can reduce the potency of pollution. We can dilute harmful influences in our heart’s soil with healthy influences. Pollution need not stop us from producing fruit.
What toxic influences might you need to dilute today?