Feeling Stretched? Try Pruning

People say that the curse of modern life is choice: we are stretched thin and have too many decisions to make, too much to do and too much information coming at us. I recently read that some companies actually use this as a strategy: by constantly "updating" the plans you are already signed up for and purposefully making them hard to understand, they are hoping you will give up comparing and just stick with what you already have.


And there are only 2 solutions that I know of: cut down on the number of your activities or do at least some of them more simply, maybe even a little less than "perfectly."


In John 15, Jesus talks about what God does in our lives to make them simpler: he prunes them. But the word Jesus uses here means more than just "cut branches." It carries the idea of making something clean. (The root of the word that is usually translated "prune" in verse 2 is the same as the root of the word translated "clean" in verse 3.) The point of God's pruning is not simply to get rid of the "bad stuff" (though Jesus does talk about parts of our lives that are deadwood) but to simplify, or clean, even the good stuff so that it is more focused and therefore more fruitful, more productive. The point of cleaning is to make things shine.


I hate trimming plants. I'm always afraid they won't "like" it. But literally and figuratively, pruning is a good thing. It clears a lot of space.

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