The Word of the Month: "Kudzu" — Novella McClung

The word for today is kudzu. If you live in the South you know what kudzu is. Kudzu has been found as far north as Indiana and even a patch has been found in Canada. Kudzu was brought to the United States in 1876 to be used to enrich the soil and prevent erosion. It was introduced to us at the World’s Fair in Philadelphia via Japan. Kudzu is a native of eastern Asia.

Kudzu has many uses. It is used in many Chinese medicines and is considered a delicacy in some countries. Goats love kudzu; and it is used for basket weaving. Kudzu is used in clothing and paper as well as a substitute for cornstarch as a thickening agent.

Because of its fast growth – up to twelve (12) inches a night it was used as camouflage in World War II. Kudzu is known as the ‘mile a minute’ plant because of its fast growth. Kudzu needs rain and soggy soil to grow. Seeds can lie dormant for up to seven years until the rains come.

In the South, kudzu is considered a pest. People use many methods to get it to go away but the more you salt it, cut it, spray it, plow it, the more it grows. The reason it will not go away is Kudzu has a ‘crown’ on the top of the tuber from where it grows and it is under the soil and grows deeper the older the plant. You cannot kill kudzu until you kill the crown.

Kudzu is a pest but it is also dangerous. Kudzu will consume anything and everything in its path. It loves to cover everything and slowly kill where ever it grows.

Friends from Colorado took pictures of kudzu to show at home. One said, “kudzu is a lot like sin.” How you ask? Sin looks like a pretty vine and we love the lushness of it. We camouflage our sin and think we can hide what we are doing from God and man.

We try to control kudzu just like we argue we can control our sin. We can try to hide it and it lies dormant for years. Each day we grow deeper and deeper into our sin. We know it will kill us but we reason we can get away with it. In order to survive we go to the soggy soil of life, where sin is rooted, and like a pig we make our home in the mud.

The answer to the kudzu sin in our lives depends on dealing with the crown. To get rid of our kudzu we must turn to Jesus (Lord of Lords and King of Kings) the crown wearer, who died to kill the sin in our lives. By His death and resurrection, Jesus paid for the dangerous effects of our sin. We are forgiven! We do not have to live in the soggy, muddy pig pen. Because we believe that Jesus died for our sins we have a relationship with Almighty God. The kudzu of sin will not consume/kill us.

Our job is to live for Him every day – free from the kudzu consuming sin of life and having an active, mile a minute relationship with our Sin Killer-Jesus. When you see kudzu, let it be a reminder to live for Jesus.