“He said, ‘No, if you weed the thistles, you’ll pull up the wheat, too. Let them grow together until harvest time. Then I’ll instruct the harvesters to pull up the thistles and tie them in bundles for the fire, then gather the wheat and put it in the barn.’”
Few things will drive one more crazy than to have to watch a person or competitor who we know play unfairly, bend and break the rules, manipulate, etc. to get ahead of us and they never get caught, punished or even deterred. We might all be thinking of a company, an organization or even particular people we have come across where this happened. Their “success” is inexplicable and can be demoralizing if we let it be. But things do have a way of working themselves out. This past week this happened (without mentioning names or companies) to a person who always looked to be “Teflon” with their ways, nothing ever sticking to them even though it was obvious how greed and ego were the drivers in what felt “criminal”. Well, the person may soon pay the price as substantial civil suit has been filed and the damages would be beyond this person’s net worth. I want to be careful here to not say that what is due is coming but rather to use this as a cautionary tale that what we sow we can reap.
So how do we work next to or even closely with a person or the competitor that we know is doing wrong? Well, we can try and be vindictive and bring them down, or we can do our best to remain steadfast in the ways of good and of God. I think the Parable of the Harvest can be instructive here. The Farmer had a choice for his workers when the thistles had been planted among the wheat. He could have done what could be done immediately and removed the thistles. But, that would have also destroyed the wheat. Or, he could do what he decided, which was to let them both survive and both even grow, together, for now…for a timeframe. And then when the time was right, he’d separate the two and the thistles would come to a fiery end. The wheat? It would be harvested as it should. The lesson? Yes, we might need to coexist with the thistles and the bad apples sometimes. Maybe way longer than we should have to but it is on us to trust that God has His ways and that we are to just keep focused on growing and growing towards His most wonderful harvest.
Matthew 13: 29-30 (The Message)