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Never dealing with the root problem

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By Dave Henning / January 20, 2019

“The Bible attributes a great many evils to this other [intangible] heart. . . . we tend to reach for remedies to address our symptoms without ever really dealing with the root problem.  And so the symptoms never seem to go away.”- Andy Stanley

In Chapter 2 (“All Is Not As It Seems”) of Enemies of the Heart, Andy Stanley notes that behavior isn’t always an accurate indicator of what’s going on inside your physical or spiritual heart.  Pastor Stanley illustrates his point using a pear tree as an example.

Suppose your yard contained a pear tree that produced an abundance of pears every year.  Since this tree yields so many pears, it can’t bear the weight of all its fruit.  As a result, your yard becomes a sea of pears.  Thus, it’s difficult to cut your grass.  And the rotting pears smell awful.

However, picking up all the pears only serves as a temporary solution.  Sooner or later, you must repeat the process.  Therefore, you need to take a more permanent approach.

And, Pastor Stanley observes, that’s (picking up) precisely the way we need to deal with our heart problems.  We pick up and apologize – with all sincerity.  But then we repeat our mistakes.  Also, we blame and explain.  Yet, nothing really changes.  So, if the solution involved changing a few behaviors, you already would have detected them.  If you only needed to try harder, the problem would be licked by now.

Finally, Andy uses the example of a verbal outburst to explain his point about a root problem:

“You think that outburst was an exception.  And in one way it was.  It was an exception to your general rule of not allowing what’s in your heart to be exposed to the rest of the world.  But . . . that embarrassing outburst wasn’t an exception to what’s in your heart.  Indeed, it was a reflection of what’s really swirling around down there (emphasis author’s).”

Today’s question: What Bible verses help you in dealing with the root problem in your heart?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: the new Short Meditation, “A snowball in your face”

About the author

Dave Henning


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