5 Things the Bible Says About Pruning

The Bible is full of passages about pruning. It’s so common that it doesn’t take long before you find a verse or two on the subject.

Whether it be removing what is dead, unhealthy, unproductive, or training and directing growth for better fruit production to glorify God with more abundant life through Jesus Christ , there are many reasons why we should consider this important task in our lives.

Pink flowers gold scissors

What Does Pruning Mean Spiritually?

The biblical definition for pruning outlines it as a method for removing what is not necessary. This means there are things that can be attached to our lives that are not beneficial.

Some examples of these could include sin, bad habits, and negative relationships which can be hindering to our personal and spiritual growth.

Just as a gardener meticulously trims away the excess branches on a plant to allow it to grow healthy and strong, we too must remove anything that is not in line with God’s plan for our lives.

Other things that need to be trimmed away might include any distractions that take up our time and focus from where God is directing us.

If we want fruit on our tree then sometimes it is important to be cut back so that new growth can come through.

What is Divine Pruning?

Diving pruning is when God does the cutting.

This usually happens through our life experiences though we don’t always recognize it as God.

Think about it. When relationships end, do we say God was taking that person out of my life for a reason? Not likely. We generally focus on the pain of the loss or our negative thoughts about the person.

Sometimes we try to be God. Using the relationship scenario, we don’t always consult God.

When relationships head towards the end, the people in the situation often end up hurting themselves and each other because they start pulling their own little branch off the relationship instead of letting go and allowing God do His thing in their life.

Though there are instructions in the Bible about where we ought to cut some things away, there is also support that God does the best pruning.

What Does the Pruning Process Represent?

The pruning process represents a cutting away.

We all need pruning at some point in our lives.

This sometimes can be painful, because it doesn’t always occur when we want and how we want.

But pruning can help us grow stronger, be more productive beings, and increase our spiritual health.

We need to be able to cut away what has hindered us so that we can move on and become even better than before.

There are many examples of this throughout the Bible including the flood during Noah’s time that pruned everything away in the earth for renewal.

Paul provides another example in Galatians when he castrates himself by taking a vow to not have sex for three years .

Both of these were times when God called people out on some issue they needed to deal with in their life.

Beyond these instances, pruning is also symbolic of the sanctification process that we as believers go through.

Things the Bible Says About the Pruning Process

There are specific instructions given throughout scripture about what should and should not be pruned from our lives.

For example, Hebrews 12:15 says “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” In this instance, bitterness is something that needs to be removed through repentance if we want to experience true spiritual growth.

Here are five other things the Bible says about the pruning process:

  1. Pruning is done by God. Even the person that is in close relationship with Christ must be pruned. Pruning is not limited to just our lives, but also the lives of others. When we are pruned by God it should result in humility and gratitude that God is making us better.
  2. Pruning is necessary to produce good fruit.. John 15:1-8 (NIV) outlines that Jesus is the “true vine”. As believers we are to be in relationship with Him at a level that bears fruit. If we don’t, God cuts off that branch.
  3. Pruning can come in the form of discipline. Hebrews 12:6 says that God corrects everyone that He loves. In those times He may cut away the things that do not benefit us that we already had a chance to remove ourselves.
  4. Pruning is a part of spiritual growth. It is something that should cause us to depend on God more, not less.
  5. Pruning can be painful. Just as a physical branch may be cut and bleed, so too our emotions may be affected when we go through the pruning process.
5 things the Bible says about pruning pin

Pruning is a part of our Christian journey. It’s an opportunity to remove the things that don’t serve us and start anew. We can learn from Jesus’ example, who had faith like no other but also knew when it was time for him to leave his disciples and move on.

Are there areas in your life where you need some pruning?

Where are you holding onto something because it makes you feel safe or secure rather than letting go so God can bless your new growth?

As we look at how Jesus cultivated relationships with people he met throughout his ministry, let’s remember that what really matters most is being in relationship with Christ and continuing to grow spiritually.

The next time pruning season comes, how will you handle it?

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