After a few seasons of tenderly caring for my roses, I was puzzled to discover a white powdery substance coating my babies as I had not experienced this dilemma thus far. Initially, I thought little of the matter until the next day when I noticed the powdery film quickly oppressed most of the bush. Even more distressing was realizing the powdery mildew also spread to a nearby bush!
Naturally, I quickly took action by researching how to eradicate this infectious disease before it was too late. I learned a simple concoction of baking soda, dish detergent, and water would remedy the issue. Neem Oil or a sulfur-based fungicide would be sufficient as well.
For weeks I carefully monitored the situation to ensure the white powdery mildew did not haunt my garden once more. I now know powdery mildew thrives in warm dry days followed by cooler humid nights. Without swift action, its toxic spores easily transport wreaking havoc on a once thriving rose garden.
“Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” Leviticus 19:2
Are the conditions dry in the well of your heart? Are you or your congregation ignoring fungi like sexual immorality, abusive people, deceit, or practicing other unholy ways?
As painful and delicate as the matter may be, Abba Father instructs His people to not adopt the ways of the world, not to worship Him like they worship their gods, or associate with those who claim to be of Him or sent by Him, but behave otherwise (Deut.12:29-13:18, 18:9-14; Jeremiah 10). Could it be Abba Father understands without His standards or boundaries within one’s heart, home, and congregation, a devastating fungus can kill the beauty in Abba’s developing garden? After loving many, “boundary busters”, I learned by setting appropriate boundaries with the offensive party, I am in fact loving them. Moses and other Prophets both enforced boundaries and interceded to the LORD on the people’s behalf.
We can intercede in prayer while also establishing and enforcing boundaries to protect ourselves and others from sinful disease while demonstrating tough love. After all, tough love is true love. Many need to suffer the consequences of their choices before repenting and reaching out for the hand of God’s redeeming grace.
In the meantime, understand there is a fine line between enabling grievous acts and exhibiting gracious ones.