Daily Devotion

December 10, 2013

Beware False Brethren

Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away…
—John 15:2

If you have spent your life gravitating toward all the wrong people, I have good news for you. God will bring the right people and toss out the wrong people. But when He does, don’t return to the wrong people. “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away” (John 15:2).

That does not mean they’re inferior and you’re superior; it just means they are not a part of God’s plan for your life. Like Jonah, God has a different plan, a different course, for them. But if you insist on grafting them into your life, God may have to do relational surgery and prune them out.

Unfortunately, such false brethren can sometimes be found within your own family, where it is hard to prune them out. At family gatherings, they often bring condemnation. It was only when the prodigal son failed that he realized what his older brother was made of. Upon his return and repentance, his father did not bring up the sins of the prodigal. It was his elder brother who pointed his finger and condemned the prodigal son to his father. (See Luke 15:11–32.)

Joseph discovered that false brethren never celebrate your dream. Instead of living in God’s land of unlimited favor, they live in a “zero sum” mentality where for you to win, they must lose. Your gain is their loss. If you receive blessing, they believe somehow there are fewer blessings available for them. Joseph’s brothers couldn’t stand their father’s favor toward the young lad, so they threw him into a pit and sold him into slavery. (See Genesis 37:24.)

Some people bless you when they come into your life; some people bless you when they exit your life. There are many good people out there. “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). Use every ounce of wisdom and discernment to find such people. If someone is destructive or producing bad fruit in your life, be careful. Keep looking, praying, and seeking until you find the right people who draw you closer to being the person God intended you to be.

Loving heavenly Father, I pray that You will keep me both vigilant and wise as I interact with others. I ask for the gift of discernment and pray for the strength to use it as You reveal to me the difference between “flesh people” and “faith people.” Keep me always close to You, Lord Jesus. Amen.