Treating only the symptoms (bad fruit, sin and pain) is like plucking all the fruit off the vine and burning that fruit. Look-- no fruit, just scorched earth! At least for a little while…
Drastically treating the symptoms is like cutting the vine off at ground level. And at first-- there's no sign of the vine or its fruit at all.
But the root still exists, and it WILL produce new branches as well as more unpleasant fruit-- perhaps a fruit that looks slightly different, but has the same bitter taste.
I hope we can all see the correlation. We must treat the underlying cause/root (the wound we received when someone sinned against us) of our bad spiritual fruit (which includes the our painful symptoms and our own resulting sins) so we can fully eliminate that fruit (pain or sin).
We need to look for the cause of our bad spiritual fruit/pain/sin and allow God to help us deal with it so that we can be completely and truly free.
Prayer can help reveal the root, when we aren't sure what it is. Trained Christian counselors and those who are very experienced in deliverance ministry can also help us discover the root. (Psalms 1:1) Then God can help us be free of the fruit AND free of the root!!***
Digging up the roots to permanently remove the bad spiritual fruit/pain/habitual sins can be dirty, hard work. While there’s no question that Jesus forgives us and makes a way out of sin for us, we often have to change our habits of thought and habits of deed that lead us INTO sin! Digging up the root helps us do that. Jesus tells us to deal drastically with our own sin in Matt 18:8-9.
So how do we “dig up the roots?”
- We already mentioned forgiveness. (Mark 11:25-26)
- Digging up the roots usually requires godly, wise counsel. Spiritual intervention is frequently needed, too. (Ps 1:1)
- Careful, personal examination of scripture is ALWAYS part of the process, as is prayer. (Romans 12:1-2)
- Consistent fellowship with Christians in a worship and learning environment is incredibly helpful, also. (Romans 12:4-5)
- Finally, determination to walk in spiritual health is absolutely required. (2 Cor 7:1) Without determination, one can easily slip into habits that allow the bad fruit (pain / sin) to re-introduce itself to our lives.
Being free of that bad fruit IS possible. Talk to those Christians you fellowship and worship with-- they'll often gladly share their personal stories of victory!