Several months ago I planted some flowers in our back yard that will bud out twice a year. Unfortunately, other plants in that spot had to be dug up and discarded or they would eventually choke out the new flowers. Although it’s difficult to kill one thing so that something else can flourish, it’s necessary. In fact, I continue to find sprouts of the old plants where I apparently left the roots, threatening the life of my beautiful new flowers.
The same thing happens in life and ministry (places of spiritual influence). We must make choices—often not between what is bad and what is good, but between the good and the best.
Which of these areas fits you?
- Home: Does it seem that your life is so full that you don’t have time to focus on God and his Word and other people? Is it possible that you have chosen something good over what is better? What can be eliminated from your schedule and to-do list? What can be delegated to family or at work?
- Family: How are your children doing spiritually? What activities are unnecessary for your family to flourish? Are your children busy because you have a need to compete with other families or to meet cultural expectations or because your children really need so much involvement? How are you and your spouse doing? Do you have time together alone? Why not? Have you prioritized your children’s busyness over your marriage?
- Ministry: You may find it difficult to say no to ministry. Where has God gifted and called you? That is the best place for you to serve because he empowers you there.
- Leading a ministry: Your volunteers may be so stretched that they can’t focus anywhere. Do you have too many programs going for needed support? What is really necessary to your mission or purpose? The only way to focus on what is best may be to eliminate some good things.
When I decided to dig out the old plants, my husband wasn’t particularly happy. He liked them (more than I did) and hates to kill anything that actually stays alive for us in the Texas droughts and heat.
Eliminating something from your life or ministry will likely meet with resistance from someone who benefits from it. Expect that going in. Always remember that you serve an audience of one, God himself. Choose the things that are most important, the things that serve God and his kingdom over other good things. Get rid of everything else so that the best in life and ministry isn’t choked out by the good.