…The writer of Proverbs addressed this issue saying, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (Prov. 4:23).
The point is, if the water is bad, don’t clean the pond; check the source. My friend John, for example, found himself constantly irritated at work, so he attended an “I will not be irritated anymore” seminar to control his behavior. But John’s primary emotion was not irritability; it was the fear that if he couldn’t produce more, faster, harder, and better, he would be terminated.
Explosive pressure dominated this primary emotional area. Driven by the root of fear, John was emotionally exhausted and angry, but couldn’t say anything. His behavior — the secondary “crabapple” of anger — originated from his primary root of fear. Life change is not about conforming to a new law — “Thou shalt not be angry at thy neighbor” — but about transforming the inside, because the outside is most often an expression of the inside heart. Establishing and following a whole new set of behavior-conforming laws will only displace the basic heart problem, not resolve it. If transformation is to take place, the heart problem has to be identified, exposed, and surrendered to the Spirit’s/Father’s scrutiny. Additionally, the believer must accept a new identity, one founded on the reality of who he/she is under the blood of the cross. In our coaching sessions, John saw his root fear. He realized he was not believing God for His provision, and the anger at others’ behavior amazingly disappeared. With an understanding of Father’s Love (Grace), treating the root led to natural changes in the fruit…
(reposted from IFEL by Dr. James Johnson)