Paul says in 1 Cor 1:12, “I have the right to do anything, you say — but not everything is beneficial”. In writing to the Corinthians, Paul here is probably quoting some in the Corinthian church who boasted that they had the “right to do anything”. Yes, to an extent, God has given us a free will with the “Right” to do anything – but not everything is beneficial.
Sometimes we get so busy with the ‘anything’s’ of life that it can adversely affect our spiritual life. We could say, what’s wrong with my kids participating in various sporting’s activities, what’s wrong in being involved in community events, clubs, work related events, etc.? Well, generally speaking, there is nothing wrong with them but hidden in them is the potential for us to lose our spiritual focus. When we prioritize our lives with things that are not spiritual then the spiritual falls off. Satan’s main focus is to keep us busy, with seemingly ‘good things’ that can be rationally explained as good things. Every year he wants us to add new activities to our calendar.
If you have grown roses, you know that if you want to have any flowering in the next year, you will have to prune back the plants. I didn’t know about this until I witnessed Anju do this. I noticed that as she pruned the bush that there were still branches with buds waiting to bloom that she cut off. Meaning, when she pruned the bushes, she didn’t just cut off the deadwood; she also cut off the living branches that are still productive. She does this to have a healthier plant and a fuller bloom in the coming years. Likewise, in life there could be activities that look good but may need to be cut down to have a richer and all-round spiritual bloom in the coming years. The Bible tells us to discipline ourselves for the purpose of godliness. (1 Tim 4:7)
We are not wired to do everything; we need discernment to do things that are pleasing to God. The Bible tells us to test and discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect in his sight (Romans 12:2). Some of the activities we are involved in although they may be good, may be pulling us away from our time with God and God’s people and they may not be good, acceptable, and pleasing in God’s sight. It is better to do the pruning willingly than God using his own methods of pruning, through a crisis or affliction. Let’s take a candid inventory of our lives to see what needs to be pruned. We want our lives focused on enjoying God forever, don’t we?