Last year, at the end of Fall, I told the lawn maintenance people of my complex to cut the bush OUT in front of my house — It was looking raggedy and unattractive. I told them to cut it at the roots. (Just because I wanted to plant another type of flower in my flower bed when spring started.) So they did.
Or so I thought.
All winter long, the rose bush was out of sight and out of mind. The bush was gone, and it looked more attractive in the front of my house. (which I loved!) Then spring time came and…low and behold, the little bush started sprouting again! In just the 2 weeks of the beautiful Atlanta weather, the bush was back to almost it’s original size!
After my initial laugh at my attempt to cut down something unwanted, God showed me the comparison of how we want to change certain things about our lives. Even though we try to change for the better, there is no real permanent change unless we cut the root of our negative lifestyle or thinking.
How many of us get all excited about finally living for Christ, wanting to change, wanting to give our life to God, yet we are still rooted in some areas that desperately needs to be cut at its roots? Old residue of relationships? Still hanging out with the same people? Still lighting up every once in a while? Still buying liquor on occasion? Still keeping in touch with those ‘friends’ you don’t need? Still using profane language? Still trying to be ‘self made’? Still have love for money? Still chasing women/men? Still looking at negative shows and listening to negative / provcoative / unfruitful music?
If we aren’t ready to cut OUT (not cut down) these deeply rooted issues and attributes, then we aren’t ready for real change! If we don’t go to the source of the issue, go deep and pull out all of the roots of the behavior unpleasing to God, just like my bush, we will sprout some of the characteristics sooner or later. People can only fake the funk for a period of time. Even if we desperately want to change, you cannot effectively, permanently change until you cut off the roots of the old, and plant yourself in the roots of the new.
The Apostle Paul writes in Colossians 2: 6-7 NLT:
“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him.”
What is a root? By noun definition, it is the basic cause, source, or origin of something. By verb, it means to establish deeply and firmly. We must actively root (verb) ourselves in the things about God. And then those roots (noun) will start to spring forth its fruits.
We have to cut off things that carry negative seeds! (Each seed opens and roots itself in you.) Cut off those TV shows and start getting a worship playlist on youtube to listen to. Tell your friends that you have an emergency call when they start to gossip and start talking about nonsense. Cut off those friends, and tell them you are starting to follow Christ. Start developing discipline to spend your money on things productive (savings, trust fund, donations to a church) and stop spending it on things that are not helping your fruitfulness. Each action is deliberate, meaning it takes thought to pull your negative roots out. Everything we do of/for God is deliberate. We have to start being serious about Him!
Real change is deliberate and conscious change. What does your roots contain? You can tell someones roots by the leaves or fruits they have. A peach tree has peach fruit, because of a peach seed. A peach tree doesn’t grow apples.