We are all part of a spiritual eco-system. Jesus is the vine, God is the gardener, and we are all the branches. A responsible gardener works in the garden. You can’t just plant stuff and then leave it alone; gardens take work and care. The branches that are not fruitful are lopped off so the energy can be put into the productive branches. Even the branches that do bear fruit are pruned so they will bear even more.
The boundaries of the religion and the limitations put on us are not inhibitive but help us grow spiritually. The words of Jesus give us direction and help us grow stronger. This pruning is a help, not a hindrance. Plants that are allowed to grow rangy are not the best. The fruits are on the branches, but the branches cannot grow and produce if they are separated from the vine. We need Jesus and his words to exist spiritually, and we need the boundaries to produce the best spiritual fruit. Separated from the vine, the branches die. The branches that are not productive are cut off and burned (perhaps in the fires of hell).
Staying connected to Jesus, following his words and accepting the limitations of the religion will lead us to a beautiful flowery spring. But severing our ties will leave us withered and burned up. True life springs from the true vine.
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