Don’t give up on people
Luke 13: 6-9 “Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”
Every year for 3 years there was hope of fruit but none came.
Do you know that disappointment?
Do you know the feelings of failed hope and promise? The thoughts that things will change but they don’t.
Do you know those times when people let you down? They told you they would be there but when it came to it they weren’t.
What it said on the tin wasn’t what you were getting inside.
What do you do?
I am sure you want to get rid of those relationships, walk away from that place, cut it down and start again. It is a waste of your time.
However, the parable says, give it more time and don’t rush into it. Instead work on it, dig around it and fertilize it. Create some space and pour into the good it is needing. Pour grace on it.
Some will call it a waste of time. If after 3 years there is no fruit then it is not going to start now. But Grace waits. Grace hopes. Grace goes again and again.
How easy it is for us to pass judgement on others. Maybe those struck by tragedy, killed at the altar or killed by a wall crashing down on them. How easy to look at those people who are not living our life, bearing the same fruit as us, who are producing nothing in our eyes, to root them out. How many times have we given up on people? Let’s get the axe and chop it all down. How many of us are glad that Jesus didn’t do that with us?
No. He springs into action and gets down into the dirt and he works for our salvation. He pours out his life. He gives of Himself that we might live.
Yes there will come a time for judgment but it doesn’t come quickly. It waits. And we are so pleased it did. So how about us waiting on a few people? Let’s not get rid just yet. Why not pour manure on them and help them to grow?