Just look at the cute little cherry tomato blossoms, promising nice, juicy additions to my salad bowl in a few weeks. Wait a second, what’s that I see down below??
It’s a sucker!! Get rid of it, quick!
Are you wondering what on earth I’m talking about?? Look at the small shoot coming out of the joint between side branch and main stem. That is a prime sucker right there. Why is it called a sucker? Because it siphons energy and nutrients away from fruit production and instead puts it into growing a new branch with leaves. Leaving the suckers to grow may lead to more fruit, but the fruit won’t be as large, and the plant will be more unwieldy. Suckers won’t kill a tomato plant, but they can affect the harvest and the plant’s ability to stand tall.
Do you have any suckers in your life? As Christians, we are called to bear fruit. No, we won’t have grapes hanging from our earlobes and elbows, but our lives should show evidence of being changed to be more like Jesus the longer we follow Him.
Jesus said in John 15:5,
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”
Then in John 15:8, He says, “My true disciples produce much fruit. This brings great glory to my Father.”
What kind of fruit should be growing? Galatians 5:22-23 says,
“But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
So what might suckers look like in our lives? Anything that sucks energy and resources from what God wants to do in and through our lives. Suckers are going to be different for each person. They may be ways we spend our time, thought habits, negative attitudes, hurtful words, getting easily angered… Take some time to evaluate where you are in your life, and where you feel God wants you to be. Read through Galatians 5:22-23 slowly, measuring your life against the fruits listed. Is there something diverting your attention from where it should be focused? You may discover that you have many suckers! Don’t go crazy and try to attack them all at once. Ask God to show you what sucker needs attention first. Work on cutting it out, and replacing it with what pleases God. Once you think you have a handle on that area, then maybe it’s time to move on to the next sucker.
Don’t think you have to do this alone. You are God’s creation, and He wants the best for you! With God’s help, you can produce a great harvest!