PRUNING FRIENDSHIPS (taking out the trash)

Here’s a topic that rears its head and usually elicits an “ewww” from me.

Yep, it means cutting away the people who suck the life out of you.  I have a huge problem with this regardless of the fact that many ministries have large teachings on it designed to help you know when and whom you should perform this surgery upon and thereby rid your life of them.

My problem is that it doesn’t sound like Christ.  It doesn’t look like His Love and the spirit of it promotes self over others.  When I look at Jesus, I see His reaction to the worst people as quite different.

He doesn’t prune them away but rather He shows them righteous boundaries and lets them decide whether they want to leave or change.

The largest group He performed this act upon was the religious ones.  He was blunt, straight-forward and sometimes insultingly truthful (i.e. “whitewashed sepulchers”).  But rather than reject them and refuse to interact with them, He tells them the truth about their actions and lets them chose how to respond to that truth.

Here’s the problem with reading about these instances in the Bible.  We can’t hear the tone of His voice or the inflection of it.  Here is the Prince of Peace sounding mean?  I wonder.

You know what it’s like to read a text that seems mean and harsh but later you confront the person and their tone changes the whole context?  Well, I’m that person and it happens to me quite often.  My tone is peaceful and loving, but my words are blunt and to-the-point.  So, I have to be very careful with texts and emails or I sound like an angry, mean person when I’m not.

I wonder sometimes if Jesus hasn’t been misinterpreted this same way.  Heck, I could even turn over the money-changers tables with a whip and a smile in my voice.

Now, granted, I may be completely off base here.  This is a spur-of-the-moment revelation I’m rolling out for your consideration.

What if Jesus was trying to make them see the error of their ways and hoping that His words would change some hearts?  I believe He had some follows who were members of the Sanhedrin.  Therefore, even though their associates took offence, they did not.  They saw Truth and embraced it.

How effective is Truth when presented in anger?  Not usually at all.  Those who hear Truth will reject the speaker for any ugly tone of voice.  I’m the same way.  I love to hear the Truth about myself.  It helps me make corrections and assists me in giant leaps forward.  But I will walk out of the room if it is presented in an angry, arrogant or judgmental way because that is not the way my Heavenly Father corrects me.  He is my most thorough examiner, but at the same time, He is the most loving. I believe that is the spirit that Jesus carried.  Not the mean, angry, red-faced maniac we’ve seen in pictures.

Therefore I believe Jesus spoke Truthfully to the Sadducees and Pharisees in a blunt, to-the-point fashion, but in a tone of appeal, love, entreaty.  I don’t believe He ever said because someone was evil or a massive sinner He would cut them out of His presence and walk away.  But rather He let them make that choice themselves based on their acceptance or rejection of Truth.  It was their choice.

(Don’t pull up the tares lest you also pull up wheat; but let them grow together.)

I see a prevalent attitude of rejection based on personal, selfish judgment running rampant.  It says “you bug me, you’re negative, annoying, needy, irritating, frustrating, pushy, bossy, unmannerly and I just don’t like your attitude so you’re out.  I’m cutting you from my list of people”.  Then we proceed to cut people out of our lives like they are just so much trash we set on the curb for pick-up.

 

People are not trash.  None of them.  And usually if they are in my life it’s because I need to learn something from them, or help them learn something from my experience.  Therefore they are a responsibility my Father has given me.

No I can’t change people.  Neither can you.  But Father can and with Jesus and the Holy Spirit living inside us, there is nothing He can’t do.  This is not a situation of venting my frustrations and dumping my emotions on them.  This is a situation of hearing His voice and speaking what He says to speak.

This is not a disposable humanity.  Every person created was a shining jewel in the eyes of Father.  We must mature into the loving Christ that lives within us.  It only comes from Him.

And that’s my 2 cents for the morning offered to you in love (and some hugs) 😀

13 thoughts on “PRUNING FRIENDSHIPS (taking out the trash)”

  1. bravo! i love your way of thinking!! it’s nice to look at things from all perspectives! i think you got pure revelation on this one…thanks for being brave enough to share it with us…no matter which way it went, HE is who He is…gotta love Him!
    i believe we have to read with the attitude that asks, what is our perspective of the street while looking out of a 2nd story window or 12 story window? hmmmm…without the whisper of the HS we can have a distorted view in comparison…
    as always, i love your blog and your viewpoints…keep ’em comin’ 😉

    1. ahh, your encouragement, as always, knocks my socks off! Bless you, Selah! I’m sure you know as well, that being brave enough to share often involves closing my eyes, looking at Jesus with hope and pushing the button. 😀

      1. thanks Faith!
        yes, bravery comes with a cost for sure…lol…sounds like we’re a lot alike, i close my eyes too when i hit the button!!! lololol…
        you’re doing a MAH-velous job! i may not be on and post as much as i’d like but i enjoy checking in every chance i get to see what you’ve posted …
        hope your weekend was beautiful 😉

  2. Excellent!
    I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t need to die for anybody: someone else already has, and it was enough.
    I’ve also concluded that I am not the answer for everybody. If it appears that someone is being helped in our relationship, then we keep going, as long as they aren’t taking my life, or the life of my family.
    If they’ve decided that I’m their source of life, I’ll attempt to point them to Christ; if they won’t make the change, I’ll not continue as their savior.

    1. Wow! wow, wow, wow! Thank you, NWP! My friend, you have read my current mail like you were the mouse in the corner. Thank you, Jesus, for speaking to me through my friend. I will take my time chewing on this.

  3. A friend referred me to your blog and then I found this topic.
    It reminds me of an event that occurred yesterday. My bestfriend wrote me off, said quite a bunch of mean things to me in the name of being blunt and truthful, that the truth always hurt (I wonder the proponent of such school of thought). Told me to stay away from her till I’m back to my true self.
    She’s the controlling and impatient kind.

    I felt sad and low, I wondered why she wouldn’t give me the same grace I gave her.
    All her weaknesses as an individual are before me.
    Yet, I love her. I still do. I just thought to give her space.
    She makes me feel unsure of myself, more like I can’t express myself freely without being judged as proud and stubborn, when in reality, all I need is a friend who embraces me, who accepts all of my humanity.

    I speak and will keep speaking Abba’s light and love over her, her life.
    I reckon that we do not know it all, she is a good, kind, warm and generous person. I hope she realizes these issues soon enough.

    And thank you.
    Your post reinforced what I’ve always known to be true.

    “Give Everyone Grace, Everyone.”

  4. I absolutely agree with this. I look at ministries that talk about clearing out the negative people from your life and I think it is absolutely wrong.

    Religion loves exclusion. I am currently being outright ignored by 3 people from my last church even when I am trying to come to them in love and reconciliation and yet they have nothing to do with me. One of them had originally pursued me and had to have me as her BFF and then turned on me and sucker that I was I fell for everything hook line and sinker. On top of it, she is prophetic, so I can’t even tell you the damage it did at the time hearing her tell me that “God told her to step away from me”. It was like he was rejecting me too.

    I look at all this that has happened to me as pure evil and will never set foot in that church again. Maybe not any church. But I do know that God is with me and I am valuable and loved by Him. I still care about her and forgive her, but I think if I saw her I would just cry not understanding why she is so cold to me. I know it doesn’t sound very brave, but I really thought she was like a sister to me.

    I think that people are pooled together in church and told to love one another, but they look at God as this excluding, punishing, judgemental god and so they act like their father which more closely represents the devil…

    Blessings to you!

    1. Unfortunately there are tons of stories like this one. But in His Love and tender mercies, Father uses these experiences to bring us up to another level where we find a deeper intimacy of Love with Him.
      When faced with a situation, as Graham Cooke says, “There are only two questions to ask – what does this mean to my relationship with You, Father – and what must I do now?”.
      I believe new blessings will open for you on your new journey.

      1. Thanks Faith 🙂 That is definitely the case. I believe God showed me how my relationship with her (trying so hard to please her and get her to like me again) was like my relationship with Him. I left that church and felt so bad at what I was leaving behind. He said all the effort I was putting into ministries etc.. was not needed, love just is.

        I believe more and more I am learning what love really is and what it is not. The fake love from “religion” stinks. But I think I can see that those who are not legalistic and know God as the loving father, those people are capable of showing a real kind of love that isn’t so quick to judge and punish. That is what I am seeing through new friends I have made.

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