The Root Problem Heb. 12:15 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
When you are trying to fix something in your life or help someone deal with a problem in his life, the best thing to do is find the root problem. You must get down to the source of the trouble. The fruit will take care of itself once you uncover the root. The symptoms are much easier to deal with after you find and address the cause of the problem.
Getting down to the root problem can be quite difficult because the root is not easy to see. You cannot see it without digging deep. And most people don’t have the patience, honesty, or sincerity to uncover everything that is lying above the root. If you will truthfully work on uncovering the root, the Lord will help you find it and remove it.
Let’s look at the root problem of some things in your life. If you only deal with the symptoms, the trouble will keep coming back [in Matt 3:10 John prophesies that the axe is laid to the root of the trees]. Here are some roots:
The Root of Bitterness – Heb 12:15. Some symptoms of bitterness may be anger, rage, hatred, mistrust, anxiety, irritability, selfishness, depression, evil speaking, the inability to forgive, a life centered on the past. You can tell that something is wrong but you can’t tell what to do about it. When you consider the circumstances and people in your life you are certain that THEY have something to do with the cause of your trouble. In fact, when the root of your trouble is bitterness THEY do have something to do with your trouble.
However, the problem with them is usually not causative but consequential. You have defiled them by your bitterness. And what you see is often the effect of what you have done to them. It’s not what they have done to you. Some people only see the negative in everything and everybody. This totally negative perception may have its root in your bitterness.
The way to deal with this root is to dig down deep until you find it and then pull it out and destroy it [Eph 4:31]. You must put your finger right on the initial source of this bitterness and then you must forgive the person at whom you are bitter [Eph 4:32]. Jesus forgave his murderers and Stephen forgave those who stoned him. Both of these men forgave others immediately. So, the longer you wait the more bitter you become.
Remember that often the person you’re mad at is the Lord God. You will not want to admit that you are bitter at him. But unless you do, you will never completely address the root problem. Also remember that you may be able to forgive the other person. But you may not be able to forgive yourself. If you are bitter at yourself, you must then also forgive yourself. When you are saved, you are accepted in the beloved, my friend. Therefore, you must get over being bitter at who you are or what you have done or what you have allowed to happen to you!!
The Root of the Love of Money – 1 Tim 6:10. The love of money is the root buried underneath the tree of ALL evil. It is the root underneath the sins of Hollywood, of politicians in the United States government, of drug traffickers, of prostitutes, of people in the liquor business, of men in organized crime, of white collar criminals, of false advertisers, of scammers, of hackers, of corrupt preachers, of good, godly, scholarly men and women who correct the Bible, and so forth.
The love of money may be the root of your evil. Most Americans are extremely covetous people. And many will do just about anything to get their hands on money or possessions. As one preacher said, “If it doesn’t make sense, there’s a buck in it”. Solomon said, “Money answereth all things”. In other words if you can follow the trail to the money you can find out why a thing happened. Don’t believe for a minute that a smooth talking man who demonstrates a concern for you is trying to help you. The serpent was as smooth talking as they come. And he had absolutely no interest in Eve except to get her to convince her husband to sin. According to Is 10 and Lk 4, he did it ultimately to get his hand on the kingdom of heaven.
Next time you decide to do something, sit yourself down and ask yourself WHY you are doing it. And if covetousness or money has anything to do with it, run away like a hit dog. Jesus caught those Pharisees, who accused him of violating the Sabbath, violating it the day after the his triumphal entry. And when Jesus ran them out of the temple he told them that they had turned his house of prayer into a den of thieves. You may be upstanding in the eyes of your friends, but you are evil if you are covetous!! If you want to know the real source of your trouble with money, look down at the root.
The Root of Hypocrisy – Job 19:28. “The root of the matter is found in me”. The symptoms of hypocrisy are a critical spirit, a condescending spirit, condemning others, arguing, proud wrath, portraying yourself to be better than you really are. The thing you criticize most in others is usually the thing which needs the most work in your own life [see Matt 7:1-5 concerning the mote and beam]. Pride is certainly a factor here. This is the root that bore the ugly fruit of the Pharisees. Jesus was all over them about their hypocrisy.
This root has destroyed many good churches by preachers and church leaders pretending to be holy and demanding the same “demonstration” of holiness from their people. Underneath they were vile. If you want to fix your trouble with sins in your heart [Mk 7:21-23] quit pretending that they aren’t there by condemning those same sins in everyone else but yourself. You stand before the Lord himself and expose your soul and spirit to the light of God’s words. You’ll find out who you really are and then you can let the word of God and the Holy Spirit go to work on you to clean up those ugly areas of your life. Job found out who he was before the Lord and so did his accusers. And so can you!!
The Root of Unbelief – Matt 13:21. “No root in himself”. The trouble with this fellow is that he is lost. He is not a believer and yet he thinks he is. Yet, he tries every type of solution to “act” more spiritual but the truth of the matter is he is still a natural man [1 Cor 2:14]. For a soul to be saved, he must have been born again by the Lord Jesus Christ [Matt 15:13 he must be planted by the Lord]. There are many today whom the Lord has not saved, though they want to believe that they are. There’s been no regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. You can’t fix a guy like this until he believes.
The other problem is with folks who believed the gospel in order to get saved and then refused to believe the Bible for sanctification. They are like a still born baby. They were birthed but they are as good as dead as a Christian because they refuse to read or believe what the Bible says about them now that they are saved. Though they try to change, until they believe what the Bible says, they are not going to grow one inch spiritually. The root problem in either case is unbelief. You can forget going to the Christian bookstore to find the solution to your symptoms. You need to get saved [1 Pet 1:23] or get sanctified [Jn 17:17] by believing the words of God.
Conclusion: You need to get down to the root problem in your life. More than likely it’s one of these four things. Examine your “tree” down to the root and get that root out of there now!