A friend of mine broke up with his girlfriend recently. It wasn’t one of those breakups that left broken dish fragments all over the living room floor or slashed car tires in the driveway. It was one of those, “this isn’t really going anywhere” breakups that ended with a handshake and a smile.
It was interesting as I spoke with my friend about the process. He told me how there was nothing wrong with the relationship. He went on and on about how nice of a girl she was and how she did just about everything right.
I asked the seemingly obvious question to him, “So why did you break up with her dude?”
“Well, I didn’t really see it going anywhere. I was just comfortable, and that was it.” He answered. “I think I need someone who challenges me to think a little deeper. My life is not getting any shorter, and the more time I spend in a ‘stale’ situation the more time I will waste in finding someone that helps me grow as a person.”
I was silent for a few moments as I thought about this.
From a spiritual perspective, I thought about how sometimes we get caught up in a meaningless habit or situation that prevents us from growing stronger as believers. It’s not necessarily that we are caught up in a sinful activity, but we are just floating through life with a habit that does nothing for our spiritual growth, and in some ways may prevent it.
What in my life is similar to my buddies relationship? What things are keeping me from achieving my full potential in Christ? Do I have baggage that is keeping me stale and unable to bear fruit?
I am really thinking about these things this week. Being a person that likes to challenge myself with new things, am I challenging myself spiritually enough? Do I have some habits that are keeping me from reaching my full potential? I know I desire to bear spiritual fruit.
John 15:1-8 (The Message)
I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.
Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.
I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.