The Root of the Problem

 Have you ever let something go? You knew that it needed attention but due to lack of time and priorities it just got ignored. That’s what happened to the landscaping at our house. These past 5 weeks, since we’ve moved in, have been busy. And pulling weeds were at the bottom of the list of things to do. Frankly, even if it had taken precedence it has been just too hot outside to spend hours working in the yard.

But like everything else that gets ignored, eventually you have to deal with the problem. So yesterday morning Abigail and I decided to attack our overgrown garden. An hour into pulling weeds we were both covered in dirt. The looks of our garden was beginning to improve and opportunity sprung up for a spiritual lesson.

“Abigail” I said, “You have to pull the roots up with the weeds so that they will not grow back.”

I explained to my daughter that while it was easier to just pull the tops off the weeds, that if she did not dig down deep in a few days they would pop back up. I continued to explain that the same principle applied to our spiritual life.

“Take for example the problem of jealousy. A person can say in their heart that it is wrong to be jealous and that they will try to stop their behavior. However, unless the root of the problem is dealt with – SIN – jealousy will return in a few days.”

Like ugly weeds, a Christian will have to deal with many thorns during their life – anger, bitterness, selfishness, covetousness, deception – just to name a few. Our flesh desires to cover up the problem by removing the outward part that shows. After all, our prideful nature does not want others to see us as we really are. But hiden in our heart there is an underlying root at each problem that must be dealt with. And because this root is SIN only God can uproot it. Only God can cleanse us from these sins. Only God has the power to forgive and cast them as far as the East is from the West. Only God can give us the ability to overcome our sins and properly deal with them.

“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness,” Romans 6:14-18.

I am thankful that my Lord is a better gardener than I am. If we allow Him, He will continually uproot the sins in our life that cause us to stumble. He will carefully plant into our hearts faith in that we can be rooted and grounded in love (Ephesians 3:17) and become a beautiful creation for His glory alone.

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