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To Stake or Not To Stake

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7

Some plants need assistance to grow upright and survive the rigors of wind, rain, and their own weight. These top-heavy plants benefit from staking, which provides sturdy support so that the plants can keep growing. Staking a plant means driving upright stakes into the ground and fastening plants to them using plant ties. The stakes permit plants to continue pushing skyward when they might otherwise crumble under the weight of their fruit or flowers, or otherwise be ruined by rain or high winds (

Others believe that staking can cause more harm than good as it limits the ability of the tree to start building strong roots right away. They surmise that a tree with strong roots can withstand the rigors of wind, rain, and its own weight. Thus, guaranteeing its survivability and fruitfulness.

As a parent, I struggle with the question of “staking or not staking.” For instance, how much assistance should I give my children? When they get in trouble, do I “stake them down” by rescuing them, or do I let them “grow strong roots” on their own by allowing them to face the consequences of their choices? Though I often tell my children that “grown folks’ decisions have grown folks’ consequences,” it is challenging for me to let them suffer because of poor choices.

Many people struggle with the same question when friends and loved ones reach out to them in their hour of need. They don’t know if they should “stake the person down” by rescuing them or let the person “grow strong roots” on their own by allowing them to deal with their problem or face the consequences of their choices. Such a decision requires wisdom and should only be made through prayer so that the Holy Spirit can reveal to us how to best assist the person in need.

In today’s text, the writer provides the recipe for growing strong spiritual roots in Christ Jesus. Such spiritual roots require obedience to the Lord and a passion for His word. The Holy Spirit is the spiritual “stake” that helps us grow and survive the enemy's attacks and control the flesh's sinful desires. Therefore, we must drive the Holy Spirit into our hearts and fasten every thought, action, and decision to Him using prayer, worship, and scripture.

The good news is that even when God does not prevent us from facing the consequences of our sinful choices, He does not allow those consequences to destroy us. He is a present help in times of trouble. The Lord knows when to “stake or not stake” us. Indeed, He knows when we need to stand on our own so we can grow strong spiritual roots. Or, when we need assistance to grow upright spiritually. What is required of us is to trust God with all our hearts and not depend on our own understanding.

God wants us to have a strong faith so we can walk in victory throughout our Christian journey. Strong faith is often the result of personal trials and hardships. But if we remain rooted in God through Christ Jesus, we will be strong enough to withstand the rigors of life’s tests and bear spiritual fruits in due season.

Questions for Personal Reflection

How do you determine if you should “stake or not stake?”

Why is it important to ask the Holy Spirit to help you decide if you should “stake or not stake?”

Prayer- Blessed Lord, please give me the wisdom to know when to “stake or not stake” in all my relationships and dealings with others. May your Holy Spirit guide my steps and conform my thoughts so I will help others to develop strong roots while providing them with the assistance they need.

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