I was in the yard talking to my neighbor about the vines growing up my trees. She warned me not to just yank the vine off because it might damage the tree because the vine had become attached. Since she is wise and knowledgeable about the subject I listened to her instructions. She told be to cut the vines at the roots, wait a few days until they began to wither and die so they could be separated without further damage to the tree. Without their roots they could no longer grow or feed so they would inevitably die and be easier to remove. Hmmm, I like the sound of that. Me being me, I decided Traci's gardening wisdom can be applied to many undesirable areas in our lives. You probably see it coming too but walk with me anyway.
When we have something undesirable in our lives and finally get sick of it we want to rip it out immediately and get rid out it with one hard yank. In all likelihood, we did not grow or develop this negative trait, behavior or attitude overnight. So we need to take our time to remove it by cutting off it's roots so we don't cause ourselves more harm mentally and physically. This is one reason why cold turkey attempts to quit bad habits and fad diets rarely work and may result in becoming more addicted and unhealthier. If you want to lose weight you can not constantly feed yourself unhealthy food or eat at all hours of the day. Instead, you have to make a decision to get rid of the foods that tempt you, educate yourself on what is healthy for your body and slowly develop a taste for the foods that fuel you. If you want a toned physique, one push up and a jog in the park are not going to cut it. Neither is jumping right in to run a marathon without training. If lust is a problem, check and change your inputs like tv programs, music, websites, places or people that trigger those lustful habits. It is a process that takes time and specific steps to get the best results and to minimize damage and backsliding.
In the dictionary to prune means to cut away dead or overgrown branches, especially to increase fruitfulness and growth. If we take a look at the beginning of John 15, we see Jesus' similar explanation of vines and why God prunes them. Pruning was a necessary action to be productive and remain useful and only the productive vines were pruned. So, are there are areas in your life that you would rather not have or are they producing the wrong kind of fruit? Then it's time to prune and to take the steps to correct it instead of feeding it.