A Soiled Heart: A Theology of Growth and Going Green


Image by Charlie Ambler

We are dirt. We are, at our very core, that which lies underneath our feet. God reached down and scooped a clod of soil from the earth and formed his creation. And he called it “Adam.” Literally this name, deriving from the word adamah, means ground or earth.

This is what we are. Soil. Earth. Dirt.

It is what we were made from and what we will return to.

This earth, as well as our very bodies, was animated by his breath. God breathed into the soil, bringing mere smudges and particles of dirt to life.

This life filled the form of what we are. The breath. The Ruha. His Spirit. It moves and grows within us. It animates us. It allows us to grow and develop. The thing that gives us life and prevents us from crumbling into the dirt and ashes that we are.

It is no coincidence that Christ referred to humanity and the human heart as soil. Not only because it is what we are but because of what we are supposed to be.

Good soil.

In the famous parable of the four types of soil, Christ compares the human heart, soul, and mind to a clod of dirt.

He said there are four types of soils. Four types of hearts.

Soil one—the Path: the hard beaten soil which does not give. It is compacted and pressed. from being trod upon. It tightens under pressure and will not give way to the seed spread upon it. This seed is the Message of Truth.

Soil two—The Rocky Ground. The Bedrock is close to the surface. There is initial growth but the heat, that is the trials of life, destroy the gospel in one’s heart.

Soil three—Those Among Thorns. This is not from inadequate resources but from competition! Nothing is wrong with the soil…the problem is that it is already occupied! And there is no room for a new type of vegetation. A new growth and production of fruit.

Soil four—the True Production. The seed falls on this good soil and it springs to life. It grows and produces a harvest far greater than what was sowed.

Which soil are you?

Christ made an incredible claim. The gospel would not be accepted by all. And even if it was initially embraced, if it does not grow than it was never good.

But who is responsible for this growth? Who is responsible for the condition of the soil? If this soil is the human heart, than we are the ones who are responsible.

It is our dirt. It is our hearts. And we can care or neglect it as we wish.

Much like my own lawn which I neglected and it died, over-run with weeds and dead grass, so too are our hearts. And while a lawn or some other patch of dirt may be pristine and perfect, weeded regularly and watered, only a small amount of neglect can ruin all that was labored over.

You or I may live our whole lives caring for our souls, but the harvest is not until the end of our lives. It may fall into ruin. It may be neglected. Weeds may creep into our hearts. And where are we left than? Having tilled our lives to perfection, just to neglect and fail in the end. All that you work for may be completely useless and an utter waste of time unless you see the gospel to the end.

Going green is not a gray area.

We are charged to grow. All living things grow and reproduce. So too should be our lives in Christ.

Growth is not an option. You will grow. Or you will wither. Its your choice. There is no middle ground. Take your pick and act accordingly.

I ask you know, what is the condition of your heart and your life now? Do you need to do some weeding?

THEOLOGY21 is a co-op of authors dedicated to renovating theology for a new generation, taking the ancient truths of scripture and theology and speaking to the post-Christian culture of the 21st century. To keep up-to-date on all things THEOLOGY21, Give our Facebook page a “like”, follow our twitter page, add yourself to our email list, or subscribe to our feed!

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