Commentary by David Salvatelli: The Purpose of Pruning

David Salvatelli
December 3, 2009
Filed under Commentary

Prune: the act or process of removing what is superfluous or undesirable so as to improve the shape or growth of a plant.

“But why?” “Do I have to?” “Can I just deal with this later?”

Whether it’s a whisper or a whine, we’ve all heard – or been heard asking – these questions, particularly as we face challenges or unpleasant circumstances in our lives. John 15 provides the answers: individually and as a body, we need pruning!

“I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful… This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit…”  John 15:1-8

An unregulated vine can produce great quantities of grapes, but their quality deteriorates over time. Pruning, however, keeps the vine’s size manageable, allowing it to maximize its energy resources to produce delicious and juicy grapes, season after season.  Pruning is invasive. In a vine it can involve the removal of as much as 95% of the foliage. Ouch! But failure to prune ultimately results in the vine’s failure to produce, whereas properly pruned trees yield better fruit and live longer than those left uncontrolled.

The Gardener does that with us, removing the superfluous and the undesirable, shaping us to bear better fruit for many seasons. Isn’t it encouraging to realize that pruning isn’t just painful but productive?

“My child, don’t ignore it when the Lord disciplines you, and don’t be discouraged when He corrects you. For the Lord corrects those He loves…” Proverbs 3:11-12

May the Lord strengthen us to endure His pruning, that we might become shaped more truly into the image of Christ.


David Salvatelli is the director of advancement and has been committed to the mission of CCA since its inception. If you have questions about CCA or this Commentary, please contact him at or 954-315-4330.


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