As much as I love and enjoy the beauty of my flowers, I am compulsive and pursue “dead-heading” with a passion.

“Dead-heading” is cutting off dead and wilted flowers to encourage the plant to produce more blooms. I’ve recently done this so my roses will bloom until the frost.

Now if only we would so eagerly “dead-head” those things about ourselves that should be removed, so we can “bloom” bigger and brighter.

Unlike pruning, which requires significant effort and deep cuts, dead-heading is easy. A few snips with the scissors and the plant once again looks healthy and whole. Not only does dead-heading make the plant more productive, it also thwarts disease and rot.

Like my plants, small things can often mar our “beauty” as well. There are things about each of us that if we would only snip them now, would give way to spiritual growth and productivity.

If I allow my roses to bloom as they do in the spring and leave them untouched, the bush will look gorgeous for a short while but then quickly decline from something sensational to instead sinister.

However, when I take the time to diligently tend to them on a regularly, clipping off the dead flowers and skeletal remains, the bush thrives.

We thrive when we snip off dead things, the things about ourselves that are no longer productive. Live flowers provide pollen and nectar. Honeybees can’t get anything from a dead bloom. They don’t even try. Yet, unlike bees, we often try to pull life from things that were once life-giving but are now dead.

We may need to “dead-head” a habit or two so we can progress from where we are to where we should be. I recently saw a local church sign that implored people to stop spending so much time on Facebook so they could have time for God’s Book.

I’ll admit I frequent the coffee drive-through way more than I should! There is something each of us can “snip” that would make us more physically, mentally, emotionally or even spiritually productive.

Often we hold on to things that are not only dead to us but potentially deadly because their familiarity is comforting. Sugar? Caffeine? Acquaintances?

Small cuts now can prevent drastic and necessary pruning later. A little self-control in the beginning is easier and less painful than loads of self-correction later.

We are implored in 1 Peter 5:8 to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” NKJV

One way to be sober and vigilant is to manage small things before they escalate into larger issues.

Think about a few things you could “dead-head.” Habits? People? Places? Whatever God places on your heart to cut away, it is for a reason and for your benefit. Don’t dismiss the prodding of the Holy Spirit and miss a greater blessing later due to disobedience.

What cuts can you make?

Heavenly Father, allow us to recognize those things we need to cut now for greater gains in the future. We are grateful for Your renewing power that allows us to bloom when we remove those things that are dead. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

By Lilka Finley Raphael

Author, Editor, Gardner, Photographer, Pharmacist

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