“We often treat the presenting symptoms instead of dealing with the root issues.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 23, 2023
Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! Psalm 105:4, ESV
Recently, while driving on the highway, I noticed my car began to shake whenever I applied the brakes at high speeds. As a relatively common issue, I took it to the shop for a quick repair. To spare you the riveting details of routine automobile maintenance, it took three rounds of exploration and diagnosis to discover the root cause. The mechanic treated the most pressing and obvious symptoms, but until the correct diagnosis was made, the problem remained unsolved and kept coming back.
Though comparing our humanity to a used car may not be the wisest theological move, if you’ll allow it, I believe there is potential wisdom to be gained from this simple story.
In our lives, we often treat the presenting symptoms instead of dealing with the root issues. And in truth, even treatment of superficial symptoms is all too frequently ignored, dismissing our broken behavior as quickly as we can. Take anger, to give but one example. When we snap (or explode!) at a family member or colleague, do we take the time to come back to them in humility and repentance, or do we allow our hurtful words and actions to settle in their spirits and shape the nature of the relationship? And to press it even further, do we stop and ask ourselves the question, “why?” Why am I so angry? Why do I respond at a level 10 to a level 2 situation?
Like an elusive diagnosis of a faulty car, the answers to these questions are not always self-evident! It requires a willingness to keep digging, looking beyond the surface symptoms to the deeper issues. And most importantly, it requires the continual pursuit of the Lord in prayer, for it is only through the gift of his presence that we are able to see and truly know ourselves. Without his light, we stumble in the darkness, searching in vain. And yet, as he reveals himself to us, so too are we able to see clearly and understand ourselves more fully.
Do not settle for simple solutions that fail to treat the deeper issues. Keep digging and seeking the Lord and his healing for every part of your soul and body!
Father, drive out the darkness that lurks in our hearts by the light of your love, we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
In what areas of life have you focused on surface symptoms instead of seeking out the root causes?
1 Chronicles 16:11; Matthew 6:33; Hebrews 11:6
Young Oceans: Light of Your Love
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