Being rooted in love (Eph 3:17), we can’t thrive without deep roots (Mt 13:21), but what happens when we discover roots to things in our lives that we don’t want to grow anymore?
After living in our house for almost a year, my wife decided it was time to evict some of the bushes in our front yard. While trying to unearth these things that had occupied their patch of earth for probably the last 25 years, it became clear that the root systems were not going to give up without a fight. We used all the tools we had: shovels, a hatchet, even a pickaxe, and it took us several hours to successfully unearth them in their entirety. A few times, I thought we had gotten ‘enough of it,’ and we could quickly cover up the remaining root portions with dirt, but my wife was insistent on removing every bit of the root so that there was no chance of it growing back.
While working, I was reminded of the things in my life that I have had to sweat, dig and chop to remove. Roots from seeds that had been planted in me when I was growing up… Things that I had been taught or that I had been exposed to that had taken root in me. As I got older, these things not only grew but became pervasive in my life as they developed into addictions and behaviors that I didn’t have the tools to control. I would fool myself into thinking that I could cover up what was growing, but the roots remained.
Job 14:8-9 says “Though its roots grow old in the ground and its stump dies in the dry soil, At the scent of water, it will flourish and put forth sprigs like a plant.” And that’s exactly what happened… I deceived myself into thinking that some indulgences, if kept secret, were okay, and I unknowingly began feeding a giant that had been sleeping in the darkest parts of my heart and mind. I became entangled in a life that I no longer wanted or even recognized.
For me, my roots grew into a secret life fueled by a pornography addiction and eventually relationships that jeopardized my life, my marriage, my reputation, and everything that was important to me.
When we were digging up the plants in our front yard, I was surprised at how large a hole we had to dig to locate and remove all the different parts of the root. It looked like a bomb had gone off in our front yard! And it occurred to me that the same thing happened in my life when my roots were finally exposed. The impact and destruction it caused to my ‘neat little landscape’ of life were devastating. It was messy, it was ugly, it was hard work, but it had to happen.
The longer you allow for something that is unhealthy to grow underground, the messier the extraction will be.
Matthew 15:13 says that “every plant that my Father has not planted will be rooted up.” For me that happened ‘accidentally,’ and it was disastrous. You can avoid that happening to you. Let others in. Talk to somebody about what is growing inside of you, no matter how ugly it may be.
Proverbs 28:13 says “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”
James 5:16 says “Confess your faults to one another, that you may be healed.”
Men, take charge – don’t let your life fall subject to the consequence of sins and secrets growing within you that you cannot control (none of us can on our own!).
Author: Dave Lucido