Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Christian Outdoor Object Lesson 33: Judging Poison




Key Verse

"Don't judge, so that you won't be judged." Matthew 7:1 WEB

Lesson

Two words that can make anyone cringe are, poison ivy. It's all in the name-- poison. There is absolutely nothing good about that foul plant, right? Well, not exactly.

Humans are actually one of the very few creatures who are susceptible to poison ivy. Many types of birds rely on poison ivy berries as part of their diet. Deer and other animals eat it on a regular basis with no adverse effects.1 Although we may not like it, it is an important part of the ecosystem where it grows.

Poison ivy is not all bad for humans either. There is a part of the plan that can be extracted and used to treat sore muscles and arthritis pain. It is a substance known as Rhus tox and it can be very beneficial!2 Poison ivy may have a bad reputation, but we should not think something is all negative because of a bad reputation.

You may have heard it said, don't judge a book by its cover, or in this case a plant by its leaf. The Bible warns us not to judge others by what we see or hear. We are to treat everyone with love. However, it is probably still a good idea to judge poison ivy by its reputation. So remember this saying, if you see leaves of three, let it be.

Questions

Have you ever had poison ivy before? Was it as bad as you thought it would be?

Have you ever received a bad reputation before that you didn't deserve?

Have you ever misjudged someone?

What can you do in the future to avoid judging others?

Sources

1 http://srel.uga.edu/outreach/factsheet/poison_ivy.html
2 http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/using-poison-ivy-as-a-med_b_6149354.html


Written By David F. Garner
Photo Credit: David F. Garner

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