Getting Rid of the Unproductive Areas in Your Life

Getting Rid of the Unproductive Areas In Your Life

Getting Rid of the Unproductive Areas In Your Life

There’s a very curious story in the Bible. You can read the account in Matthew 11:12-25. In this passage, Jesus finds a fig tree without any fruit on it and curses it. Within days it withers up and dies. Today, I want to use this story to talk about getting rid of the unproductive areas in your life.

Was Jesus Having a Bad Day?

At face value, this story always seemed really odd to me. Jesus is all about bringing life and hope, and here He is cursing this poor little tree that wasn’t hurting anyone.

Let’s put the story in a modern setting.  Imagine you’re sitting in a city park feeding the pigeons. Out of the corner of your eye, you watch a group of men walk up to what looks like an apple tree. One of the guys looks the tree over, moves a few branches, and then says, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” Over the next few hours, you can’t help but notice leaves start to fall off of the tree. The next day you come back to the park and it’s completely brown and dead.

Be honest now. Bizarre, right?! I have to wonder if Jesus was calm and authoritative when He said those words, or if He was angry and closer to yelling at the tree. After all, just a couple of verses later He is throwing over tables and yelling at the people selling things in the temple.

Was He having a bad day, or is there something more significant here?

A Deeper Look

According to what I have read, I’ll let you research it if you’re curious, the fruit generally appears before the leaves on a fig tree. Therefore any tree with leaves should have had figs on it (at some stage of development at least). This tree was displaying all the evidence of a tree with fruit, but in reality it had none.

Jesus pronounced judgment on this tree as an illustration to the religious culture of His day. Everything looked great on the surface, but there was nothing of value within. This is probably why the story of the fig tree surrounds the account of Him going into the temple and throwing over tables.

A Practical Application

Besides the more spiritual applications in this verse, I think we can apply some very practical wisdom to our day-to-day lives here.

What things, relationships, activities, commitments, etc. in our life are taking up space without bringing anything productive or valuable into our lives.

What Is Growing In Your Life

What is growing in your life that serves only to take up space? Maybe it looks good on the surface. Maybe people tell you it’s a good thing, but you know that in reality it only takes up time and energy.

With many activities in life, the issue isn’t that they are bad, but that they are robbing you of the time you should be spending elsewhere. This unproductive fig tree was taking up space where a productive tree could have grown.

What areas of your life do you need to uproot today? Often times, the key to increase is not addition but rather subtraction. Don’t wait any longer, start getting rid of the unproductive areas in your life, and make room for the better things.

About the Author

Jeremy BinnsWhen I'm not trying to save the world from the coming zombie invasion, I love my wife, hug my daughters, write, photograph, listen, observe, explore, and worship.View all posts by Jeremy Binns →

  • Laurel Griffith

    Great thoughts, Jeremy. I think your observation is true for families, as well as individuals. It takes constant vigilance and a willingness to part with the familiar in favor of opportunities for growth. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jeremy Binns

      Great point – thanks for stopping by! Hope things are going great for you and yours. :)

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

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