I grew up on a farm, but I don’t know much about pruning shrubs and bushes. I’m afraid I’ll trim too much or not enough or cause the plant to grow crooked or something. I fear the shear!

But, I am a married man who loves his wife. I willing and joyfully do things for her that I don’t want to do. Okay . . . when my wife has asked me to prune our shrubs I will complain and mumble out loud that I’ll probably kill the plant and ruin the landscaping. I fear the shear.

I just don’t know how to do it. Nor do I really want to learn if I’m being completely honest.

There is another twist to this whole pruning shear thing . . . God prunes us. He takes out his spiritual shears and starts wacking away. Ouch! Here’s what Jesus said in John 15:1-5 (NLT):

“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. 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.

Every one of us has some “dead or damaged” branches in our life that needs to “cut off.” Just like a master gardner (I’m not one) who carefully cuts off dead or damaged branches so the plant will be healther and produce more fruit, God does the same thing in our life. When we read the Bible and apply it in our life, we become more like Jesus. And that’s a good thing. So, don’t fear a little spiritual pruning. It’ll do you (and me) a lotta good.