Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
The Japanese name is kuzu; the Americanized name is kudzu. And if you live in America’s Deep South, you know it well. It is a fast-growing, invasive vine introduced to America in 1876. Farmers were originally paid by the government to plant the vine to prevent soil erosion. It also adds nitrogen to the soil and is palatable to grazing animals. So what’s not to like about kudzu? It takes over and chokes out or shades out everything else. Millions of acres of the South today are shrouded in kudzu.
Jesus used an image of thorn bushes (think America’s blackberry and raspberry bushes) that can choke out a seedling that is fighting for sunlight and moisture. All too often the thorn bushes win. It happens spiritually, too—thorns and riches can choke out a seed of faith that has sprouted in an unbeliever’s heart. They can even choke out a new spiritual insight in a mature believer’s heart. Seeds of faith are delicate; they must be protected and nurtured.
If God is stretching your faith with new kingdom insights, don’t let the cares of this world choke them out.
2 Timothy 1 – 4