I am reading a book for work. In the book, it stops and asks you questions to reflect on. This one particular section was talking about not only addressing the surface issue when helping people, but needing to get down to the root of the problem.
The question it asked was “try to explain why it is essential to get to the heart of the problem rather than merely addressing the circumstances and behavior.”
This is how I answered it:
“Only when you get to the heart of the problem, and find how to work through it, do things change. Take my daughter for example. She has been so angry about her Dad passing and has been acting out in response. I could just cave, and let her stay up until 11pm (instead of going to bed at 8:30), or let her eat nothing but sugary snacks and soda (because she doesn’t like what I fixed for dinner), or even let her go days without a shower (because she’d rather take a bath but it’s too late in the evening for one). I could just allow these things to avoid an angry outburst from her. But it wouldn’t do her any good. Truth is, her anger in these situations is really just being misplaced. She’s not angry at those things, but anything else not going the way she wants it to go, gets the release. If I allowed those things, not only would she still be angry, she would also be tired, hungry, and dirty. Her health would be in jeopardy. By talking with her, and sending her to a counselor, she is able to address the anger in a healthy way and get to the root of it all.”
This question, and my answer, got me thinking about Jesus and how he calls us to repentance. Take a moment and re-read the paragraph above, then apply it in the spiritual sense. If sin is allowed, our spiritual health comes into jeopardy. The more we practice sin, the more we become tired (because our energy is being used, when it should be God’s), hungry (our spirit is not satisfied, we are looking for bread that is not from earth), and dirty (our sin perverts our soul and keeps us from God).
When God calls out a sin in your life, and calls you to repent of it, He’s not picking on you. He loves you. That sin that you are letting control your life is actually threatening your health, just like if I would give in to my daughter’s demands.
If we don’t address the problem, and continue to live in it, like the example of my daughter, we will be left tired, hungry, and dirty. (both physically and spiritually) Nothing good would come from it.
“But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God” Romans 2:5
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
Only by addressing the root cause, the sin, are we able to truly repent and turn to God.
Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:31-32
“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.” Revelation 3:19
So, the question to you is this: What sin are you letting control your life? Are you walking around tired of life and the way things are going, hungry for more than what has been offered, feeling bad about choices you have made? If so, God may be calling you to repent of those choices.
“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;” Acts 3:19
“He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.” Proverbs 28:13