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Pruning Our Spirituality To Bear More Fruit

I have been doing a lot of pruning, cutting off dead or overhanging tree limbs. It not only gets rid of unnecessary growth but also makes the yard more attractive. The same is the case with our spiritual walk. In John 15:1-6 Jesus gives an analogy of him being the vine and we, meaning all Christians, are the branches. Verse 2 says, “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit is taken away…and he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” Any part of our spiritual life that is serving no purpose needs to be cut out. God does this in various ways, if we allow him to, so that  we develop more Godly character, as stated in Hebrews 12:11. “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

Matthew 5:29-30 says, “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away…and if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is far better that you lose one of your members than that your body go into hell.” This, of course, is not to be taken literally. It means to take whatever action is necessary.

Spiritual pruning involves putting “to death what is earthly in you:sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry”(Colossians 3:5). Ephesians 4:22 adds, “Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life…” In order to thoroughly prune, “those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires”(Galatians 5:24). Cut off whatever does not belong in one’s Christian life.

What are some examples of what needs to be pruned, so that we can be more effective in serving God and attracting others to the grace of God? Addictions? Spending too much time on social media or watching television? Looking at ungodly things? A bad habit? Staying involved in a bad  relationship? All sorts of things can be “lopped off” to be a fruitful Christian and develop Godly character.

The last on the above list was staying in a bad relationship. One website I was on listed over 100 Bible verses about relationships. One verse is Romans 16:17. “…watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.” Other kinds of relationships to prune from our lives as Christians are given in II Timothy 3:1-5. It is too lengthy to quote, but it lists 18 kinds of people who one does not need in their life. I encourage to read it for yourself. It means that there might be relationships that you need to end because they are hindering your spiritual growth.

As we prune out the things that don’t belong, we will exhibit more of the fruits of the Spirit given in Galatians 5:22-23, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

Dear God, help us to see the things in our spiritual lives that need to be pruned. Give us the determination to do it with the power of the Holy Spirit. May we show fruit that will attract others to your saving grace. 

About John Clark

John Livingston Clark is 74 years of age and lives in central Washington State. He has written two published books, and two published poems. His initial book is called, " God's Healing Hope: Breaking the Strongholds of Wrong Thinking." His second book, released in December of 2016, is a motivational book written to seniors titled, " Seniors: Are You Retiring or Recharging?" Both books are available on amazon. You can also view his writings on www.faithwriters.com. His “Poem For Senior Citizens” is in the 5th spot on FW.

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