Getting to the Root - Identifying the Real Issues

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A previous blog entitled the 5 Steps to Solving Problems was geared to anyone who leads in any fashion. Leaders whether it is within family, work, church, community, or amongst friends have to deal with problems, they have to be problem solvers. The first of the five steps is to identify the real issue or the root of the problem. What separates good leaders from great leaders is vision and the ability to cut through the layers and get to the root is part of that vision that a greater leader possess.

This is the same way Jesus dealt with many issues He went directly for the root of the issue and dealt with it.  We will walk through a few examples of how Jesus dealt with the root cause and what happened as a result.

The first thing we need to do is solidify what is meant by the term "root" so that we can clearly understand the magnitude of dealing with the root of the issue.

Root is defined as: the origin or the source of something; the underlying support; the essential core; the lower part of something that is attached; the reason for a longstanding emotional attachment; the cause; to establish deeply and firmly; to gain access (in regards computing).

What is interesting to note is that in most cases these are things that we cannot physically see but we know it's there. When you look at a tree or plant in the ground you cannot see the roots but you know it's there. Or when you look at a tall infrastructure like the Willis tower you do not see the foundation but you know it's there. If someone is emotionally hurt you cannot see physically see the emotions we only see the expression of a broken heart. Likewise with physical pain, we may see someone quench from the pain of stomping their pinky toe but we do see the actual signals that the nerves send letting the body know it's in pain.

Many times we confuse an expression or act with the cause or root reason for something.

Now let's look at some situations where Jesus spoke to the root of situation in order to bring about a change.

Case #1: Jesus and the fig tree

Mark 11:11-14,19-21 KJV
[11] And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve. [12] And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry: [13] And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet . [14] And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it. [19] And when even was come, he went out of the city. [20] And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. [21] And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.
In this case Jesus spoke to a fig tree which was not producing the way it was expected to. Jesus spoke to it and said No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. The word that Jesus spoke targeted the roots, the source from where the tree was being fed or nourished from, the roots. What this teaches us is that in order to deal with the unproductive or unfavorable traits of a thing we must speak and target the very core, the root of the issues and that will cause the manifestation to dry up.

Case #2: Jesus and the storm

Mark 4:36-39 KJV
[36] And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. [37] And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. [38] And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? [39] And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
In this case Jesus and the disciples were caught in the middle of a great storm of wind that caused the waves to beat against the ship, filling the ship with water. Jesus arose and rebuked the wind. Here I would like to pose the question, why didn't Jesus first speak to the water that was filling the boat and commanded it to be removed out the boat? or Why didn't Jesus speak to the waves hitting the boat that was beating against the ship? Jesus arose and spoke to the wind, the unseen thing, the root of the issue first then the symptom. As a result of dealing with the root cause of the storm; the wind ceased and there was a great calm. They went from a great storm to a great calm.

Case #3: Jesus and the Legion

Mark 5:1-9,15 KJV
[1] And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. [2] And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, [3] Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: [4] Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. [5] And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. [6] But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, [7] And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. [8] For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. [9] And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. [15] And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.
In this case, there was a man who were dealing many different symptoms that lead to him gaining an unfavorable reputation. He had mental issues, living among the tombs and in the mountains, he was dealing with depression, crying and cutting himself, also anger issues that probably lead to people attempting to bind him with chain which he broke out of. Jesus did not speak to the symptoms of depression, anger, or his mental status, He went for the root which was the unclean spirit named Legion meaning that their were many spirits tormenting this man and causing him to act in this manner. However, Jesus dealt with the root by commanding the unclean spirit to come out of the man and now the man is seen being clothed and in his right mind.

Case #4: Jesus and the woman at the well

John 4:6-18,25-26 KJV
[6] Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. [7] There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. [8] (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) [9] Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. [10] Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. [11] The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? [12] Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? [13] Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: [14] But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. [15] The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. [16] Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. [17] The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: [18] For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. [25] The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. [26] Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
This case involves Jesus and a woman He met at Jacob's well. The issues with this woman was that she was "active" as she as already had five husbands and was currently involved with a man that she was not married too. This woman had earned a reputation of being promiscuous but that was only the symptom. Jesus saw right through and did not label the woman based on her actions but dealt with the root of the issues. The issue was not that she was promiscuous; that was the result or manifestation of the issues stemming from the root. Jesus dealt with her on a spiritual level, there root issue was a spiritual void and only Jesus could get to the root.  

To my readers:

Recently, my wife and I interest has turn to wanting to get our grass in shape in the front and backyard and one of the issues that we having is the weeds in the yard. Sure, we pay the landscaping to come and mow the lawn but what we found is that it only temporarily resolves the problem. Visually, the yard looks good but as the grass grow back guess what comes along with it, the weeds! So, how do we deal with this issue? By removing the weed from the root! 

This principle also applies to our life. Everything we face today there is a root cause behind it and understanding the root is the key toward resolving our issues. Once the root is removed the effects will be addressed accordingly. There is always a reason why things happen whether it's in bigger contexts such as constantly attracting the wrong relationship companions or why one has low self-esteem or low self-confidence. Effects can even be found in smaller contexts such as emotional eating, lack of motivation, or always being late for things. Part of our personal and spiritual growth revolves around identifying the root causes of issues. Below are a few helpful ways to help identify root causes:

Recognize that the root cause is internal - it's not external
Identify the common denominator of the problems you face
Compare your situation with what the Bible says
Take your issue to God in prayer
Increase your consciousness and knowledge about the issue

I pray that this is helpful in helping someone get through some issues by identifying the root cause of the issue so that they can be resolved and live the life God has for them to live. I pray that negative root issues are dried up and all stemming symptoms are cleared and that the Holy Spirit is at our core and is the root for our lives. In Jesus' name, Amen. 

Reflect. Inspire. Change

Ewing Ikard II

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