16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
In dealing with people in counseling, most of the time they show up looking to change bad behaviors, they make bad choices on many levels, and are wanting to be an all around better person.
We expose them to their temperaments, and they quickly see the weaknesses and strengths of their temperaments.
This naturally lends itself to wanting to “change”.. to start doing things differently to bring about the change they are looking for. The problem in that equation is this…. if they could “do” the right things in the first place, they would have likely done so. The problem is deeper. We have to dig below the surface to the root systems.
Plainly, when we have “bad” roots… broken pasts, developmental trauma, addictions, roots of rejection, etc., we will produce bad fruit on the surface, our personalities. This will cause our temperament traits to be manifested in the weakness end of the spectrum.. Thereby we incur difficulties in our relationships on usually every level. Insecurities, fears, inhibitions, pride, the false self, walls, all these things are rooted somewhere in the heart.
So we set out to uproot these problems in our history through personal archeology. If we don’t, we may achieve temporary change in behaviors, but it won’t last. For it to last, the roots need to be changed; uprooting the painful underlying causes, and planting new seeds in their place, that’ll grow into the good fruit the God can produce in us.
I often use the example of mowing a lawn to get rid of weeds. You will only bring them to the same length of the grass… by tomorrow morning the weed will be poking out above the grass. Deep roots keep the weed strong. You have to dig the weed out by the roots to get rid of them.
Planting the Truth of God’s Word in it’s place will produce the good fruit that lasts.
John 15 New International Version (NIV)
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.