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COLUMN — Pruning certain relationships can be a good thing

Life is truly filled with sweet, salty and bitter moments.

It is so sweet when a child gives you a hug, you hear their laughter, or when someone lets you know they love you. It is salty when you get passed over for a promotion and certainly, bitter when someone betrays you. As Christ followers, we can agree that Jesus knows all about that and experienced much more than we can ever express. However, as you grow in spiritual maturity you learn how to handle what life throws at you. You listen to God like we talked about last week and “follow” Him.

The word in John 15:2 says, “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”

Sometimes we do not understand why God is moving us out of relationships with others, and it could be for this very reason.

Many times I have loved others more than they love me. As a Christ follower, I am to love, and that is not negotiable where God is concerned. However, I have found myself laying my life down for another person that absolutely did not value me the same way I valued them. Is that wrong? –Not at all.

God our Abba Father (Daddy) loves us so much that He desires us to be whole and living for Him to His expectations, His glory and His power.  I believe when He sees we are in a relationship that is toxic or harmful to us, “He cuts off that branch….”

He no longer desires for us to spend our energy on something that will never produce fruit. No matter how much we care and love that person, if in the long run we are wasting His time, then He moves us on to another assignment. That does not mean He has forgotten the other person, it just means He wants better for us and them too.   

The flip side to that is that even when we have healthy relationships with others, He still may prune that relationship. I have many, many, relationships with people that I love and we were only able to be together for a season.

God has moved us around, but we are still in touch. They are thriving where they are and I am thriving where I am, which equals “…be even more fruitful.” We still love each other. We still value each other.  From time to time, we may even be blessed to see each other.

We are both whole and living for Him. We are Christ followers. Cutting and pruning may hurt, but keep things in perspective. God loves you and wants what is best.

Yvette Perrin is a columnist for The Charlotte Gazette. She can be reached at theword2yvette@gmail.com.