I just trimmed the bougainvilleas in our front lawn. It looks messy and ugly now–just like any other plant when you trim or prune it. But wait for a couple of months and you’ll see the beauty resulting from this trimming.
As you start the new year, your life might need some trimming. Some things need to end. Some things need to be removed. Some things need to be changed. There are a few reasons why you need to go through this messy period of trimming.
First, it’s good for your health. I have a bum knee; therefore, I need to lose around six pounds more to relieve the pressure on my left knee. Some of you need to lose weight because of bad sugar or cholesterol levels or other health concerns. Go ahead–trim that waistline! Give up that smoking habit. Do something to curb your food or substance addictions. Let’s grow old looking good and feeling healthy!
Second, it’s good for your character. If I ask the people who are closest to you to describe the kind of person that you are, what would they say? Will they say you are self-centered or hot-tempered or inconsiderate or rude or promiscuous or disrespectful? The Bible says:
Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy … now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language (Colossians 3:5,8).
When you get rid of these things, not only do you become a better person but you also set the stage for better relationships with the people around you.
Third, we trim some things off our lives because the season for these things has passed. For example, I do not do those wild rides in theme parks anymore because my adult sons have long outgrown these. That season of joyful, reckless endangerment has passed. For some of you, you may have to “trim” your parenting style with your teenage or adult children. They are not toddlers anymore. That season of “directive” parenting has passed.
Doing more may not always be the best thing to do this year. Getting rid of some things might be better. And even if you just limit your focus to the three reasons mentioned above, you will find out that trimming of these things could be the blessed subtractions your life desperately needs. You will surely become a better person at the end of the year.
Are your intentions for 2017 clear?