A water hyacinth has the most fascinatingly beautiful flowers in the world. They grow in exuberant bunches on tall, thick green stalks. The petals are a delicate mauve. One of the petals is outlined in deep purple by what appears to be the bush of a fastidious painter. It is further embellished with delicate purple and yellow dots. On a long slim stalk, it looks for all the world like an exotic orchid.

Yet it is the most dangerous of all weeds. It’s called the “Devil’s weed”. Once it finds its way into your garden, it grows like a malignant cancer, chocking all other garden plants. If a single spore is carried by the wind into a swiftly flowing stream, the whole waterway is strangulated. An overpowering stench hangs over the stagnant water. Through it all, the water hyacinth blooms in its delicate pristine beauty.

Many temptations affect us in the same way. Their fascination is irresistible. But when they find root in our lives, the whole life stream is corrupted.