4 Reasons For Pruning People From Your Life
Ever said anything that made all the sense in the world to you while you were saying it? Have you ever discovered that your creative quote really didn’t make any real sense at all? Try the word pruning instead.
Yeah, we’ve been there.
I used to talk about smashing goals in crime reductions while still a Chief of Police. I liked the analogy of running the 100 yard dash with a parachute tied to our backs, and still breaking records. The parachute was the image of whatever obstacles tried to hold the agency back. Usually politics.
Leah decided she liked the analogy and started using it. She was found of saying we’re “cutting parachute strings.” Of course it meant we were freeing ourselves of obstacles trying to hold us back. We had become fond of it.
About two years ago Leah was scheduled to do a skype interview with a host from England about her life and writing career. The show is one of the globe’s biggest.
I was across the room halfway listening when I noticed the tone in her voice had changed. It was like a spark as I caught onto what she was building up to. Our quote!
Yeah, something about, “We’re cutting parachute strings,” just didn’t seem to have the impact without first telling that the parachute was attached to a runner, not a skydiver.
After the show, I suggested we stop saying that again. Ever.
About a year later, while in prayer, I saw an image of pruning a plant. I realized this was God’s imagery for the process we’d been in for prioritizing our lives. It made perfect sense. Pruning in process isn’t pretty but it was vital for future growth.
Later, Our family attended a conference at our church, Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas. Dr. Henry Cloud was that night’s guest speaker. I’d heard of him, but never heard him.
Guess what he talks about in his latest book, Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward ?
You got it – Pruning.
And I knew we’d found our new expression to best describe what our lives had been going through. It was a word from God and confirmed by faith. And…it made a heck of a lot more sense than cutting parachute strings.
By nature I’m not a horticulturalist, so I wanted to know more about the word given me, and how it applies to more than hacking off branches in the back yard.
As I discovered, pruning is a fantastic word that isn’t only associated with the discarding or removing. It is about life, regrowth and renewal. It is a beautiful term, and won’t leave you face-planted twenty feet into the ground upon impact.
But now that we had the word, how were we to apply it in our lives. It wasn’t as if we were actively looking for things, people and places to chop off. We continued to pray God would show us where to point our pointy-tipped weed whackers.
God taught us why eliminating certain relationships were required, and allowed that to guide us. This is a spiritual strategy with eternal consequences, and we’ve witnessed the wisdom in pruning.
We’ve discovered while it hurt to separate ourselves from certain people, the quality of our lives have not been diminished one bit since the pruning. Actually, we’ve never been closer to each other since eliminating the “drama llamas” from our lives.
This not only goes for people, but activities, locations and purchases. It’s simply setting your priorities in plain view and eliminating everything that isn’t lined up to support those priorities.
Here are four reasons why professional arborists prune trees. You’ll see the relation:
1. To help the tree grow
Some trees are better able to withstand the harsh weather once pruned. It also makes the roots stronger. This creates a healthier tree which is better able to withstand bigger storms. Pruning helps new branches to grow.
2. To encourage fruit production
Any fruit-bearing tree benefits from pruning by removing dead limbs. Nutrients go to the fruit, and not dead limbs. Keeping the tree free of rotting branches reduces risk of disease. Pruning also encourages the growth of spurs. These spurs produce fruit the following season. Therefore pruning promotes an increase in fruit production.
3. To remove hazardous branches
Branches without strength, life or support fall easily during high winds or a severe storm. Bad branches even tumble in good weather. Branches covering your home or power into your home can crash into them and damage your property. Internal decay or cracks and cankers cause weakening that threaten the entire integrity of the tree.
4. To treat disease
Just like human beings, trees may contract disease. Pruning treats disease and prevents spreading. Therefore, pruning not only prevents disease, it also helps treat it.
That was amazing to see how standard professional tree trimmers web language is so appropriate to what Christ is trying to do in our lives. Let’s face it. There are good people who do bad things. There are bad people who do even worse things. Why would you subject yourself to voluntary victimization when
God is trying to shine His light on you.
Okay, so I see the argument about helping our brothers and sisters. Being charitable and giving. We’re not talking about charity. We’re referring to those people with a negative presence in your life through family, friends, work or activities. You can and should determine who darkens your door, versus who brightens your day.
“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for the sake of My name will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”
God blessed you with free will. He allows you to make decisions for your life and in some cases, for other people’s lives. Living the burdensome lives for blood relatives is not your place. In your free will you have the right to choose who you will and will not associate with.
We’re building God’s kingdom. You have the authority to surround yourself with people who will help you build bridges instead of stealing brick and mortar from the project yard. Pruning doesn’t have to be dramatic, but the God-led elimination process is necessary.
Can you imagine a beautiful rose bush with rotting flowers hanging on? If your goal is to grow the biggest, most beautiful roses imaginable, then dead and dying flowers drain away vital nutrients and water from the big, bold roses reaching for the sun.
Pruning the roses also makes room for new, bigger growth. The process will soon focus all of it’s energy on the living and sun-seeking roses. This makes for stronger roses and a happier plant.
Let’s focus our energy on Christ by eliminating anything that draws energy from Him.
I Am 2nd,