Thursday, March 5, 2009

Dealing with the Root Issues

It's easy to fix surface things, but sometimes we have to go deeper to get to the root of the problem. We need to look inside and get honest with ourselves. Why do I feel this way? Why do I have such a negative attitude toward this? Why did I say such hurtful things? Why do I react this way? These are questions for self-examination. We don't ask them to beat ourselves up, but to find out where, with whom, and why negative feelings arise so we can quickly release them and feel better about ourselves and other people. We are usually not upset for the reason we think. It's not usually what's outside ourselves that is causing our distress. It is oftentimes something from our unhealed past. If we can uncover it, we can forgive and heal. The Bible teaches that we should not let the root of bitterness spring forth and contaminate our whole lives. We are not victims of the world we see. If we feel wronged, dumped on, or like someone is taking advantage of us, or that love is ultimately dangerous or hurtful, we must remind ourselves that we are not the helpless result of others' thoughts and actions. Since all unloving thoughts of ourselves project outward and determine the way we see the world, we are ultimately victims of our own thoughts and not of the outside world. Joel talks about the children of Israel developing a victim mentality and blaming the past, complaining,and fretting over their wilderness journey instead of having faith to make their trip from Egypt to the Promised Land in eleven days instead of forty years! If we stay on the surface, it is like riding a treadmill and never actually going any place. If we dig deeper and get to the root of our problems, then we can rise above them. If we get rid of our bitter roots, we can be happier and have better relationships. Are we relying on someone else to make us happy? Do we have unrealistic expectations? Are we allowing our circumstances to keep us down? If so, we need to remember our royal heritage. We are children of the Most High God, and the Holy Spirit resides inside us. "Greater is He that is in you and He that is in the world" (I John 4:4). Let's get down to the root and face the truth about ourselves. Then we can make adjustments to improve our lives and be happier. We deserve good relationships and a full life. Let's get to the root of the problem and discover who we really are.

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