Cut It Out…
He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. John 15:2
These last couple weeks I have spent more time in the hospital than I probably have my entire life. My cousin has been living with Sickle Cell disease all his life, which apparently has been eating away at his insides. Without going into too much detail, he is in the hospital, right now, being prepped to receive a new liver, intestines and colon, all of which are no longer functioning. This got me to thinking, I wonder how long his organs were failing inside and he didn’t know. I wonder if he did know but avoided the hospital for some reason. I wonder if he thought it wasn’t that bad. Whatever it is that he actually thought, the reality is that my cousin cannot go on living with those nonfunctioning organs inside of him. **
Why do we do this? We may not have these health issues but can we admit to holding onto things that are clearly not good for us? We stay in relationships that are going nowhere. We seek after people who do not mean us well. We stay in friendships that are toxic. We stay in jobs where we cannot grow. We even stay at churches where we aren’t growing. What is it about our nature that causes to stay, to remain stuck? I wish I studied psychology so I could give you technically answer as to why we stay but I am willing to bet our answers fall into one of these categories:
- We do not know our own worth or value
- We are scared of what is on the other side
- We are too comfortable in the cycle
- We thrive on the drama or mess
- We do not trust God with our future
Any of those sound familiar?? Let this bless you… In the key scripture above, Jesus is explaining to the apostles the relationship between Him, God the Father, the apostles and the purpose thereof (which is to produce fruit). Jesus uses a vine dresser (gardener) as an example, pointing out that in order for vines to be fruitful, they must be consistently pruned. Furthermore, if one does not produce fruit, it must be cut off. In other words, relationships (personal, work, etc) should produce fruit, if they do not, we should cut them off.
What type of fruit are we talking about….
Going back to my cousin, his liver was not producing the protein nor functioning as it is supposed to. If we are in situations, relationships, careers, that are not producing fruit nor functioning as they are supposed to, we must move on. In Phil 3:12-14 Paul encourages us to press toward the end of the race to receive the heavenly prize God has for us. What are we doing to press towards the mark, towards that prize? Are the situations that we are holding onto holding us back from said prize?
Keep this in mind: To get to where you need to go, where God wants you to be…Separation is Necessary. There is a greater relationship out there. There is a better job out there. There are people who value and appreciate you out there. There is community work out there. There are churches who need you out there. Do not be afraid to move on and forward in the purpose for which God has given you, even if that means cutting some stuff out!
Bear fruit. Be peaceful. Don’t waste time –> Cut stuff out…
Peace. Blessings. Love.
**My cousin passed away in May 2018 due to severed infection from the multiple organ transplants**
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