Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward

By Henry Cloud

This could just be the most one of the most powerful books you will read after the Bible!

It isn’t very often I claim everyone should read a book but this one might just fit the bill. Many of us want more out life and look for ways to improve what we are doing or what we have. The problem is that most of us have trouble giving anything up to make room for improvement.

So many of the things in our life we invest time, money and energy into and they become very important to us. Because we have been part of their creation as they are today we have trouble letting them go. This is true of children, homes, churches, work and other organizations. Because of that we want to hold on as long as we can.

This book really has two very important themes and begins with a discussion of the need for pruning to provide the greatest health. The second theme in the book is the different kinds of people in our lives and how they impact our ability to change.

Using the image of pruning a plant Cloud talks about the need for healthy growth to occur something has to end or be pruned away. Sometimes that even means something that is or appears to be healthy. The first step to effective pruning is deciding what you want the final product to look like. As you begin to prune the things that are inhibiting growth you allow room for new growth. This at times includes people and that is often the hardest to believe is needed or beneficial. The truth is that some relationships need to end either because they are not healthy for you or the organization or to make room for new life. The interesting thing is that often that is the healthiest option for those that we end a relationship with as well.

The second theme in the book is the impact difference types of people, wise, foolish and evil, make in our life. The wise will listen and be open to change and growth along with us, they will communicate and work through issues with you. The foolish will sometimes listen but fail to follow through on what is needed for new life to occur. The evil though, set out to do harm and not good. Most of us have these people in our lives and need to recognize the value or cost of maintaining the relationship.

I think the most valuable part of this book is the permission to create endings in our life so that we can be healthy and blessed. While allowing an end to occur can be painful and costly there are times when the end is the best for everyone involved.