I pondered recently on the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree that Jesus told His disciples in Luke 13:6-9. The owner of a vineyard had a fig tree that was not producing fruit, so he wanted to cut it down. However, his gardener told him to wait another year and allow him to dig around it and fertilize it. God gave me a fresh application of the passage of scripture that I want to share with you today.
FRIENDSHIPS MUST BE CULTIVATED
When I read that passage, God showed me how that tree represents the friendships in our lives. Like that barren fig tree, friendships must be cultivated. Uncultivated friendships will never be fruitful. Friendships left unattended will die. In verse 8 of the parable, God gave me three principles for cultivating our friendships and making them gro
GIVING TIME – ALLOWING THE FRIENDSHIP TIME TO GROW
First, the man who took care of the vineyard told the owner when he threatened to cut down the barren fig tree, “Leave it alone for one more year.” That indicates friendships take time to grow. That’s why we need to have patience with the people He has placed in our lives. Let’s not be so apt to cut people off so quickly. Given time, the friendship can grow and end up be a very beneficial connection in the long run
DIGGING – GETTING TO KNOW THEM
The second thing the vineyard worker said he would do is to “dig around” the tree. When it comes to friendships we, also, must do some digging in the sense that we have to spend time getting to know one another. That takes more than a text or Facebook message. To get to know likes and dislikes, we must spend time with each other. We need to dig deeper and ask questions. We need to find out what makes people tick. Digging can only really take place when we spend time with each other in person or have phone conversations.
FERTILIZING – SEEKING TO ADD VALUE TO THOSE AROUND YOU
The third thing the gardener said he would do is to “fertilize” the tree. In the same way, we need to “fertilize” our friendships by adding value to the lives of those around us. When we pray for and with our friends, come to their aid when they need help, rejoice with them when they experience good fortune, and weep with them in tragedy, we fertilize the friendship and add value to the lives of others. When you give gifts that bless your friends, give them an encouraging word, or do what you can to help them to fulfill God-given potential, that is the fertilizer that helps friendships to thrive and grow.
FRIENDS ARE A GIFT FROM THE LORD
My dad once told me, “If you have one good friend you can trust in your life, you are blessed.” Friendships are necessary if we are going to progress in life. God has handpicked people to usher us into our destiny, and those friends are precious gifts from the Lord. Like the gardener in the parable, let’s make sure we are making the effort to cultivate the friendships that God has so lovingly placed in our lives.
What is your view on how to cultivate friendships? Please leave a comment below.
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