A Lesson in Pruning

It can be painful when God cuts fleshly habits and attitudes from our life, but that allows growth in Christlikeness

John 15:1-5

Years ago I lived in Fruitland, North Carolina. It was apple country, and several of my parishioners were growers. When I stopped by to visit one of them, I found him mercilessly cutting branches from one of the trees. He told me that to produce an abundant crop of the best fruit, he had to prune the branches. It might look as if the tree was going to die, but new growth would spring from the wounds. 

Our conversation helped me understand why the Lord sometimes acts as a pruning knife in our lives. To get a plentiful crop of spiritual fruit, He must remove anything that hinders us from becoming the person He designed us to be. The process is often painful as God cuts away fleshly habits and worldly attitudes, but His pruning results in us becoming a more accurate reflection of Jesus Christ.

Being loved by God doesn’t mean being coddled. Our comfort is not His primary interest. Just as a grower prunes an apple tree to get a bountiful harvest, so God must sometimes cause us pain in order to bring forth greater spiritual growth, Christlike character, and abundance.

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