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Roots are pretty amazing.

 

We don’t think about them much, but firmly planted below the surface they nourish the thing to which they’re attached and give life to the “product” we are able to see with our eyes. They grow deep and wide and strong, and can be difficult to remove once they’ve been there for a while. While roots can produce things that bring beauty to the eyes and delight to the tongue, they can also yield pesky weeds that take over, and ultimately kill the life around them. 

 

Our hearts are like fertile gardens, and our lives, when united with Christ, are like strong, beautiful trees bearing much fruit for the purpose of glorifying Jesus.

 

Deep in the soil of the inmost being of every believer, there is a root system that nourishes and feeds the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control (Galatians 5:22-23) - and as a result, these things ought to naturally overflow as the “product” that we display to a watching world. But if we’re not careful to guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23), other roots can take hold and produce weeds that choke out the life that God has enabled us, as believers, to put forth. 

 

Think about your own life. Are there thoughts, behaviors or attitudes that are constricting the beautiful growth God wants to produce?

 

Because, you see, you can be sure that every behavior has an attached root, and if you want to change the way you act, view life, or respond to certain situations you must go after the source and cut it off from the nourishment you’ve allowed it to receive. This process is hard. It's dirty and painful, particularly if the root has been there for a long time and has invaded the deepest parts of the soil of your heart.

 

Avoidance leads to bondage and ultimately death, but the result of embracing this intense work leads to freedom. Always.

 

I don’t know about you, but I want to live out and walk in Galatians 5:1 – “It is for freedom that Christ set us free.”

 

Let’s commit to regularly examining our hearts for weeds such as unforgiveness, bitterness, jealousy, guilt, apathy, addiction, insecurity, anger, lust, greed, shame and judgment. When we identify areas that need uprooting, let’s be people who get out our shovels and go to town no matter the cost, so that we can live in the full potential of who God has called us to be - grandly displaying the fruit of the Spirit and walking in the peace and freedom that belongs to us in Christ Jesus.