Dig Down Deep

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What do blowing up at your child for spilling milk, road rage, and the fight you had with your spouse over arriving late for dinner have in common? The circumstances in each incident are not the real issue. Most likely, you’re angry at your child because you have to clean up a mess, at the other driver because you feel disrespected, and at your spouse because you had an agenda, and it was disrupted. In short, you’re not getting what you want.

As a mother of five young children, I find myself losing my temper at my children far more than I’d like. It seems like sometimes I’m on the verge of an eruption, and one little thing can cause angry words to spew forth. I was contemplating this issue last weekend and came across a blog post that spoke to my heart. It was titled, “When Your Children Don’t Bow Down to Your Gods.” It seems like a strange title, but it strikes right at the heart of most of the issues we encounter on a daily basis. Most of our issues come down to the fact that someone else is not “bowing down” to the idols of our hearts.

So much of my anger comes down to selfishness. Maybe selfishness is not your struggle, maybe it’s pride or control. These underlying issues manifest themselves negatively in almost every area of your life. Until we realize what our underlying issues are, we cannot be healed. One of the signs that we want to be healed is that we are willing to dig down deep inside ourselves to see what is really at the heart of our anger, insecurity, fear, or whatever causes us to struggle.

Proverbs 4:23 (NKJV)  
Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.

In John 5:8 Jesus told the man to stand up. He had to stop making excuses for his lameness and stand up. In the same way, you need to stop making excuses for your struggle and look into your heart. You do not need to be defined by anger or fear. You were bought with the blood of Christ and can be healed. The next time you feel yourself tempted to fall back into your old patterns of anger or fear, stand up, get a new perspective, and remember that you have been healed.

What are the underlying issues that cause you to struggle? Give them a name.

Next Steps:
Today, when you feel the anger or pride or resentment rising up inside of your heart, stop and think about what is the real issue underlying it all. Pray that Jesus will give you the strength to “stand up.”

Dear Jesus, I struggle with so many things throughout my day. It seems like I’m always on the verge of yelling or saying something that is unkind. Give me the strength and wisdom to look into my heart, identify the real issue, and stand up against it. Amen.

This post was written by Julie Mabus. Julie has a passion for thinking about big ideas, art, reading, and seeing God reveal himself through creation. She is married and is homeschooling her five young children.

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