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In Mark4 and Matthew 13 Jesus warns us about the Thorns of life, thorns that will strangle our faith even though it may have grown considerably. None of us is immune to life’s thorns, however mature a Christian we might believe ourselves to be. Jesus' warning refers to life's worries that fill our thoughts and distract us from spending time in His presence, that cause us to worry rather than to pray and worship. The thorns include the deceitfulness of wealth that causes us to give our time, effort and attention to the things of this world – creating and spending money, chasing godless dreams and acquiring ‘stuff’ in order to keep up with, or even out do, our friends the Jones’s. Thorns refers also to the many distractions available to those living a first world life, so that we pursue other things, people, past times and relationships, instead of pursuing God. Not all of these things are necessarily bad in themselves, it is important to be involved in the community and to support people and causes, but where they cause us to take our eyes off the spiritual ball of Jesus, they can become detrimental to our spiritual wellbeing. So, let’s be alert, take stock of what fills our time, minds and effort, look out for and recognise those thorns, and decide to pull (ouch!) or cut them out so that they do not wreak havoc in our lives.

Posted by Marianne Needham-Bennett
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