Pruning is selective removal of plant parts.
Jesus’ words haunt me: I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that bears fruit, He prunes (Why?!) so it may bear more fruit.
And: you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him bears much fruit (John 15:1, 2, 5) of more people more glorifying and praising Jesus as their saving Lord.
Expected pain fiercely resists pruning. Hope of better fruit in Jesus welcomes it. It’s as if Jesus is saying to us:
Off with our opinions. On with My words!
Off with whining. On with praying!
Off with sapping thoughts. On with healing feelings!
Off with critical gossip. On with building people up!
Off with hurtful habits. On with wholesome practices!
Off with pleasure consuming. On with good efforts!
Off with being entertained. On with serving!
Off with lazy flab. On with useful efforts!
Off with being what we aren’t. On with using our giftedness!