This is explaining what is applicable to physical young trees but also when we as more mature Christians approach and disciple younger, less mature Christians. This is from the Lord, not from me. Please take what he has to say to heart.
No need for pruning
• In those first few years, don’t cut off anything UNLESS it is dead
• Think of it this way, Every cut you make has the potential to permanently alter the tree’s life
o Same with new Christians, if we are overzealous in pruning all of their sins/bad habits, instead of letting the Holy Spirit do his job, we may be doing more harm than good
o 1/3 rule: 1/3 foliage, 1/3 trunk, 1/3 roots
We may only see the foliage and the trunk but we have no idea what God is doing in that last 1/3. Whatever He is doing in the roots will make it up to the foliage and trunk and show itself. Not everything makes it up to the surface right away
He may be dealing with a specific issue in a specific way and you come along and lop it off and create a wound that will take years to heal
Trees don’t heal from wounds easily, they hold onto them and make it part of them for the rest of their life – a God wound will be for the betterment of the tree (the possibility of them doing that again is severely reduced) while a human wound is not always for their betterment – they may end up going back to that bad habit just to spite you and God.
Let God deal with the person in His way
• His way may include you, it may NOT
James 1:19 “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”
• This applies to both listening to the other young trees around you as well as listening to God.
• To bring about the righteous life God desires, we don’t need to get angry and we need to humbly accept the word planted in us – it saves us.