Proverbs 4:20-27 – “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.”
My job, now, is in home health. That means that I get to go out into the community and meet all kinds of interesting people.
One of my patients was a citrus farmer. He was telling me about a disease that sometimes hits orange groves. It starts at the roots. By the time you take note of the disease, the tree is a goner. The first indication of a problem is that the top of the tree begins to die. And that happens 2 years after the tree is infected! Two years!
Problems are everywhere and in everyone’s life. It is how we identify and address the problems that is important. You can’t let something sit and fester for a while before you tend to it. No, when a problem arises, you have to hit it head on. Putting it off will only cause things to get worse and worse.
Some people frown at disciplining a small child. “They are little. They don’t know any better.” Exactly. That’s why we need to teach them when they are young!
Some people will notice something odd in a relationship and just sweep it under the rug. They don’t address the abnormality until it becomes normal and a problem. That’s when relationships fall apart – friends and marriages.
Someone will detect a slight change in their body and brush it off because they are too busy. And before you know it, you have a full blown medical incident on your hands that could have been avoided if you had just paid attention.
Big problems rarely begin as an explosion. Usually, there are little rumbles here and there that get overlooked or pushed aside. We are too busy to address them.
Solomon warned his son in these verses against this very thing. He instructed him that he had to keep the Word of God with him always. He needed to keep it in the front of his thoughts always to guard his heart against problems that will surely come.
Things are going to be happening all around us. Temptations will be at every turn. Problems will arise. Evil will try to pull us away from what we know is right. But we need to keep our eyes fixed. We can’t let root rot happen.
Satan wants to get in at the root and destroy us from the bottom up. If he can get us away from God, he can win. It starts with neglecting your Bible. And then church becomes an option. And then activities at church just happen on the wrong days. And before you know it, root rot. The top of your tree gets brown and things begin to taste bitter.
Guard your heart, my friend. Allow the Holy Spirit to reside in your heart to hold you close to the One who can carry you through it all. Don’t let root rot take ahold of you.