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Learning from Kudzu Vines

If you've ever driven along the Interstate in the South, there's a good chance that you've seen miles and miles of Kudzu vines covering trees and bushes along the road. Have you ever wondered how they got there? No one planted them, at least not along the road. They spread there from somewhere else.


Kudzu wasn't native to America. It was imported from Japan. It all started about 1935, when farmers were encouraged to plant it to reduce soil erosion during the "dust bowl" years. It looked like a great idea at first, but they didn't think about the problems it would cause in the future. They had no idea it would spread so quickly that it would become uncontrollable.


The vines can grow a foot a day and up to 100 feet long. It creeps up trees and over bushes, cutting off light and eventually smothering the life out of them. If you pull up a vine, you had better make sure you destroy it because it can root itself and start over again! No one has found an effective way to stop it and that's why you see it along the Interstate highways.


This menacing plant is an object lesson for us. When making a decision, don't just look at the immediate results, but think down the road about how it will affect your future. Too many people want instant gratification and ignore the disastrous consequences that are sure to come. This is why so many people are in financial trouble due to credit card debt. They bought what they wanted, but the interest has compounded like Kudzu. Wise people will make their decisions by thinking long-term. That means saying no when everyone else is saying yes.

Human Guinea Pigs

Scientists conduct experiments on guinea pigs to find out if a certain treatment works and if it will have any adverse side effects. Some guinea pigs grow tumors, get sick, or even die from the experiment. If the test harms the guinea pigs, it will probably harm humans in a similar way. The world is filled with human guinea pigs. We can avoid a lot of heartache by learning from others’ mistakes. Humans have experimented with risky behaviors thousands of times, so there’s no need for you to experiment with them too. Don’t say, “It happened to them, but it won’t happen to me.” Just open your eyes and carefully observe everything that happened to them. The side effects won’t be obvious at first, but given time the results are guaranteed to show up. Human guinea pigs have experimented with drugs and alcohol to get a brief thrill, but the side effects will show up later—addictions, ruined families, poverty, and death. Humans have caught incurable diseases by experimenting with immoral lifestyles. You don’t need to perform the experiment yourself because the consequences will happen to you too. Don’t kid yourself into thinking you’re the lone exception in the entire world. King Solomon, who was the wisest man on earth, learned lessons from human guinea pigs. He observed a naïve young man who visited a harlot, which ended in a tragic result (Prov. 7:6-27). He observed a lazy man who didn’t take care of his property, which led to financial ruin (Prov. 24:30-34). He also observed how wise people lived, which resulted in a life of peace and happiness (Prov. 3:13-18). Everyone gets to choose how they will spend their life on earth. In making your decision, you would be wise to closely examine the human guinea pigs. They will show you exactly what will happen to you if you choose to follow their path. (Kent Crockett's Sermon Illustrations