The principle of pruning is covered in the beginning of the book is such a practical way that it helps us to understand that it is a teaching we all need to implement in life. I’m not a gardener but I understood the truth of how caring for plants applies to our lives. I can see God’s hand doing this in my life at times as well.
Dr. Cloud defines pruning for us as “A function of cutting away to reduce the extent or reach of something by taking away unwanted of superfluous parts. “ Pruning is the intentional step of bringing something to a necessary ending. There are 3 reasons to bring necessary endings to our lives:
Necessary endings are required in order for us to stay healthy and to keep growing. Dr. Cloud gives great examples of each of these in the book.
- The first reason is if something is stealing resources that could be spent somewhere else that is more valuable. Even healthy stuff can stop us from growing if there is too much of it. We can only give some many things our time and attention. Be sure that all the things you are focusing on are the most important to you.
- Secondly, if something is sick and is not likely to heal. Some relationships both at work and in your life need constant attention and nurturing. It is ok to give them what is needed to help them heal and become a contributing part but if sick is what they want to be then a necessary ending is called from.
- The reason is if it is clear that something is already dead, there is no life left. It is amazing how desperately we can hold onto things that are clearly dead sometimes. Dr. Could encourages us to take the time to evaluate the health of relationships, this will make it harder not to identify those that are dead.
Another section of the book which I found very helpful was when Dr. Cloud laid out the 3 Kinds of people as well as their styles of behavior in chapter 7. The way he approached this section seemed a bit harsh at first but the more I thought about the 3 behaviors the more examples from my life I could think of that affirmed his descriptions.
The 3 people are the wise, the foolish and the evil.
Dr. Cloud goes on to tell us how to determine the kind of person is we are dealing with and what to do with them. If you are trying to figure out if an ending is necessary for a relationship you will definitely find this chapter helpful.
Dr. Cloud goes on to layout how to accomplish a necessary ending and how to process in order to move forward.
I am confident this will be a book I come back to time and time again. I hope you will take the time to read it and then share your thoughts me with me below.
Thank you Rayna for this excellent review. I thought this might be a slow read but it was easy. I did have to put it down to absorb the ideas. I’ve used the descriptions of wise vs foolish to know how to help several homeless friends. It’s given me peace & confidence in serving.
Thanks, Mary! I’m so glad you found this book helpful. You know you have found a good book when you are able to apply what you have learned!