Monday, August 3, 2009

Pruning Dead Wood from My Life

"Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. John 15:2; Galatians 5:22. (NASB)

Pruning Dead Wood

from My Life

A peach tree stands guard in front of my house. The person who planted it set it too close to my home's foundation. My sons and squirrels scramble up its limbs to access the roof.

The coming of spring does not produce beautiful blossoms. During summer, my peach tree remains barren. It litters my lawn with leaves in the fall. Winter storms bang its limbs against my house. Other than shade, this tree is a nuisance.

My neighbor, a master gardener, suggested severely pruning the tree to force the sap into more vigorous limbs to produce fruit.

Still no fruit.

Life without love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control reminds me of my peach tree, without fruit and useless.

The sharp pruning shears of single parenting regularly hack away at my negative character traits. Far too often than I'd like to admit, the stresses of dual parenting force out the worst in me. To bear good fruit in my soul, I've learned to trim away the dead wood—toxic relationships and attitudes that drain my faith.

I don't want to be dead wood in the lives of others. I want to be someone who encourages others to blossom and produce fruit in a manner worthy of the Lord.

Lord, I want the fruit of my life, my actions and my attitudes, to be a visible expression of your inward working in me.

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