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Getting to the real Root of the problem

Have you ever listened to someone’s take on a matter, and decided right then and there that you are not hearing the whole story? Say, the person you are listening to is frustrated and angry. These emotions will definitely impact their concern. I need to remember, that the facts I am hearing, from no matter who is sharing, will be filtered by their prejudices. And have a tendency to overthink things, and run to conclusions that get me into trouble. Sometimes I wear myself out.

There is a difference between reporting facts, and giving an opinion. I learned this quickly from working at a newspaper. Opinion can be more “juicy” than “just sticking to the facts.” “Are you sure he said this or that, or did you misread the intent?” When people say or write something having an agenda, we often miss their intent because we get offended by their means of communication.

Proverbs 14:29

A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man promotes folly.

Proverbs 16:32:

He who is slow to anger is better than a warrior, and he who controls his temper is greater than one who captures a city.

Proverbs 29:20:

Do you see a man who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

James 1: 19-20:

My beloved brothers, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteousness that God desires.

What is to be done? People will want to confide in you. You listen, and then what? I hear a story and my eyes get big, if not on the outside my eyes will be “big” on my inside. I ask myself “what can I say? What do I do?” Years ago I my husband Joe listened to someones complaint. Approximately a month later this individual said to an acquaintance, “Pastor Joe listened to me and was in agreement with everything I said. Boy, did that almost get us into a pickle! People assume that when you don’t say anything, that you are in agreement. (Not true!)

I am not all knowing. But I am told to be quick to listen. Hmm, then it says be slow to speak, and then slow to get tangled in the emotion of the issue. Wow, that can be very difficult. Objectivity is a discipline.

How many layers need to be peeled back inorder to get to the root problem? Sometimes it takes a professional with skills. Finding the root of the problem is only the beginning. The discovery of the root problem does not bring peace.

If you see dirt under a couch, what do you do with it? Clean up isn’t as simple as taking a broom after it, and sometimes your dustpan isn’t big enough to handle the job.

How does change happen? What must happen in order to accomplish complete deliverance? There are no quick fixes, because something has been fixed, whether temporary, or permanent, it will need to be monitored in order to maintain success. This calls for any person who is trapped in a bad behavior, to come under a state of surrender, accountability, and discipline.

I just read this following account of someone finding themselves in a mess. It went as follows: “God began to convict me about a certain habit. It took Him, let's see, nearly a decade to bring about a final and complete victory, ashamed as I am to admit it. During the process He gently, yet pointedly, caused me to see that this was an area of my life which went much deeper than I ever could have imagined. I was literally being enslaved . . . mastered and manipulated by the beast of my habit. My journey began by internalizing the following verse revealed to me in His Word:” 11 Corinthians 6:12 New Living Translation (NLT), You say, "I am allowed to do anything"—but not everything is good for you. And even though "I am allowed to do anything," I must not become a slave to anything. “You can't believe the fire of conviction this verse once set ablaze within me. When I first saw this verse, my habit didn't suddenly stop . . . but it was certainly a turning point toward change, thank God.”

Bad habits are common to all of us. First, we form habits and then they form us. This is the price we pay for being human. Some wrestle with common habits such as overeating, and procrastination or gossip. Others are tangled by habits of negativity and suspicion. Habits like gossip, worry, irritability, and profanity are often practiced without guilt by some, and justified through cleverly devised mental schemes. The list is endless.

Christ can set you free when you surrender in obedience to Him. There we are again repeating what I said above. The need for surrender, accountability, and discipline. Who will you surrender to? To whom will your accountability begin? Discipline is not a private thing. It is difficult to maintain alone.

Romans 12: 1-2, (A Living Sacrifice) Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Zechariah 4: 6-7 “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the LORD Almighty. "What are you, O mighty mountain?”

Be encouraged by the achievement of every single step you make toward your freedom. Don’t give up!

Blessings, Julie


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