I can honestly say that I am not ready for the new year. It doesn’t matter, though. It’s coming anyway. Every year we talk about starting something new, changing some behavior, losing weight, learning a new thing or maybe getting started on that book we’ve always wanted to write. The problem is…there are so many weeds we’ve left unattended for so many years. These weeds, or as we discussed Sunday, “Spiritual Suckers,” stand in our way. They pull the life out of us and prevent progress. When we talk about, going to church more, praying more, spending time with loved ones more, we hamstring our efforts by not, first, pruning all the Spiritual Suckers in our lives. When I say Spiritual Suckers, I’m talking about all those:
self-defeating thoughts; “I’ve tried to change before and failed, so I’ll just fail again…”
Or, the habitual use of words like “can’t, won’t, don’t, or because” that keep us from moving forward. “I can’t because....”
Or, how about the stories we tell ourselves? The Victim Stories like, “It’s not my fault!” Or, Villain Stories like, “It’s YOUR fault!” Or the Helpless Stories, “I can’t and there’s nothing I can do about it…”
Or, what about all those relationships with people who may be toxic to our health, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
If you’ve been thinking about trying something new for 2020, I’ll give you a suggestion: Prune Yourself. Write down all your Spiritual Suckers. (There are more than you think.) Take that list and start pruning! Remember, the gardening rule: Pruning makes healthy, hearty, robust and fruitful plants. Pruning work exactly the same way for us!
Jesus the Real Vine John 15:1-2 Good News Translation (GNT) 15 “I am the real vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He breaks off every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and he prunes every branch that does bear fruit, so that it will be clean and bear more fruit.