Spiritual Pruning: The How and How Not

imagesI read about the the starfish problem on the Great Barrier Reef. Because the starfish are voracious eaters, the more there are, the more of a bulldozer effect they have on the beautiful coral. It’s been going on for quite some time, and many experts have come up with solutions.

One idea seemed simple: Kill the starfish. So, divers took knives and cut the starfish in two. But starfish can regrow limbs, so in reality, the divers were multiplying the problem, not diminishing it.

When I was in Jamaica recently, someone asked about the snake problem they had many years ago. The guide assured us, “We have no snake problem. We brought in mongooses. Now, no snake problem. Only mongoose problem.”

Sometimes, when we try to get rid of one thing, we make the problem worse.

Pruning our lives can be the same way. When we try to solve a problem on our own, trusting our own understanding, timing, and advice, we can make the problem worse.

There is a right way and many wrong ways to prune our lives. There is a right pruner and many wrong pruners to do the pruning. It’s not an easy or painless process, so we might as well determine to do it the best way possible.

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vineyard keeper. Every branch in Me that does not produce fruit He removes, and He prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me.

I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me. If anyone does not remain in Me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples. (John 15:1-8)

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