Symptoms and Roots

Let me first state that I am not an expert on this topic.  The counseling community has been doing this for years.  However, when it comes to those in the church, we seem to forget this as we deal with situations and our own sin. What am I talking about?  Fixing symptoms rather than the roots.

Three Scriptures that I want to share are:
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:10-12 ESV)
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 ESV) 
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4 ESV)
Some things to consider as people upset and anger you this week:
  • The battle is spiritual, it is not about the people involved. Pray against the spiritual attacks around you in your family, community, and world.
  • Our weapons are spiritual and therefore the situation cannot be "fixed" with human methods. What weapons do we have? God's Word, prayer, worship, and finished work of Jesus.
As you deal with that reoccurring sin this week:
  • We too often treat symptoms rather than the root of the problem.  If the root is not dealt with, the symptom or a similar symptom will come back. We focus on financial struggles when the root is a lack of belief in God as provider & believing the lie that more stuff makes us happy. Or we focus on pornography when the real issue is shame, guilt, and believing the lie that God's way of sex within marriage is not best.
  • Focusing on our sin and putting together 6 steps to avoid "Sin A"is focusing on the wrong thing. Sin hurts us and our relationships. Sin is bad. Jesus loves us so much that he took care of all of our sins on the cross. Instead of focusing on steps to avoid sin, what if we gazed on Jesus instead.
This past week I have been reminded that all of us spend a lot of time dealing with symptoms and then get mad at God for not fixing things.  We blame the government, school, workplace for problems and come up with man made solutions. We instead need to get to the root and let the Holy Spirit change our hearts rather than only external behavior.

What do you think? Am I crazy? Do you agree or disagree?


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