As I look out the window when I’m on my favorite barrier island, I notice the mangrove, the waves in the bay, and a distinct, but attractive tree with vibrant red berries. It’s so beautiful that the birds plant them everywhere! This tree thrives in Florida, however, its an invasive shrub that will take over an area and choke out the native plants. It’s called the Brazilian pepper. I’m sure whoever brought it here had good intentions, but unless there is a concerted effort to keep them under control, the mangrove will be taken over and its vital purpose of keeping erosion down, filtering our water, and providing a safe haven for growing fish and other wildlife, will be lost. Jesus is like our mangrove and the Brazilian pepper is like sin and hurt. We must be proactive in keeping sin and hurt to a minimum, and ask and give forgiveness daily. We need the mangrove to outnumber the Brazilian pepper in our lives!
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23