I mentioned in a recent prayer letter that I've gotten into growing citrus. I don't have a green thumb and I know there's a high likelihood I'll kill the trees, but I'm pretty excited about them. I'm sure, at times, I'm like Jonah ... disproportionally happy about the vine.
I recently noticed some suckers on my trees. Suckers. That's a real name. Suckers are new branches growing beneath the graft line. They grow quickly, look good, but produce no fruit.
Although we don't like to think it, the Bible claims that there are Suckers in the church. There are people who will grow quickly, look good, but produce no fruit.
We don't like to think it. We like to think we can turn Suckers into fruit-bearing branches. We like to think the fruit is coming any day now. We're hopeful.
And this is hope is a good thing. But hope isn't change. Our hopes for people won't change them, won't change the Suckers. And we dodge this harsh reality.
Suckers have to be removed ... at least, on citrus trees.
What should we do with Suckers in the church? What if we're the Suckers?