Roots lead to shoots, which in turn lead to fruit. “Fruit” is the outward result of at one stage an unseen process . Once we plant the seed, the laws of nature will take over. We all know the work involved in removing a root and due to the work we often just remove what is above the surface. We hear the term “deal with the root problem”, but that takes effort and in many cases, tapping into experienced people who concentrate and focus on one area. We see this in the medical profession. At this time I am experiencing pain in my heel. I suspect that like my kidney stones, calcium has developed on the bone but I need an expert to help me understand the “fruit” and then remove the “root”. If we do not deal with the root problem we will only have temporary reprieve. I dont want a bad job on my foot, its hindering me in a number of areas. I want the hard work done and to be able to function as the maker designed!
To develop the seed to the point of the creation of the roots, we need to feed it; an appetite needs to be formed. So the smart thing is not to satisfy the appetite in the first place so as to not allow roots to form, but then I am human!
The Apostle Paul uses a very interesting greek term, he says “I give myself a black eye”. In todays language our Bibles say “I strike a blow to my body”. Living in Corinth he must have watched the boxing and wrestling. He saw one man trying to punch another into submission. He uses the analogy to explain his battle between his body and his mind. Paul appears to be have been a very self disciplined man. He was very proactive on not feeding his bodily desires but instead cultivating spiritual appetites and feeding those. If he saw unattractive fruit in his actions or attitude he beat himself into submission.
Oh what a pain all this is and there is a feeling at times to just give in to it all. The encouraging part is that we are all human and so others can relate and of course God gives us grace and forgiveness and the power of His Spirit to help bring change.