from Rachel: Roots and Fruits

Hebrews 12:15 shows the link between roots and fruit. What does it warn against?

“a bitter root growing up to cause trouble and defile many.

What is the “fruit” that the writer of Hebrews suggests springs from the “root” of bitterness?

“trouble and defiling”

Draw some fruit in the margin and label them with the result of your faulty assumptions. Underneath each fruit describe it (for example, poison, sour, or nourishing).

  • “inhospitable
  • “a messy house / undone chores”
  • “sour / malnourishing”

How do Hosea 9:16 and Matthew 7:17-18 reveal the relationship of roots and fruit?

  • “good roots and trees = good fruit
  • “bad roots and trees = bad fruit”

Choose one of the fruits you drew and describe what triggers that thought, reaction or feeling:

“laziness & procrastination (& a love of fun)”

What underlying assumption feeds that thought or feeling?

“All three on page 45” (from the previous day’s chapter)

Draw roots under the fruit you drew. On each root write the faulty assumption from which they have grown.

  • “I’ll do better later – I’ll have more time then.
  • “A little more won’t hurt – I’ve already come this far.
  • “There are some things I’m just not good at – it’s okay to let them slide.”

On what underlying assumption did the children of Israel operate (Deuteronomy 1:27)?

“that God hated them, or at least, didn’t love them and have their best interests in mind in His plan for them.”

The fruit of that faulty assumption is clear. What fruit did they display (result of that root) in verse 26?

“They rebelled against God’s commands.”

Moses tried to sprinkle truth on their poisonous root. What did he tell them in Deuteronomy 1:29 and 31?

“Don’t be afraid. God loves you and will carry you through as He has before.”

According to Deuteronomy 1:32, circle the reason we accept faulty assumptions. “Unbelief”

Examine the roots you drew and labeled. How do these roots reflect unbelief?

“They seem to me more of rebellion than unbelief. Maybe unbelief that He’ll hold me accountable or that the punishment outweighs the reward.”

How does 2 Corinthians 10:4 describe your weapon? “divine power”

Dearest Rachel –

So, this is a continuation from the chapter you filled out the day before (although for my purposes, it’s been a week since going through it), and it references those same faulty assumptions, mostly involving those things around the house that you could never bring yourself to get a handle on, and eventually spiraled out of control. Although, considering what I had to go through in order to get those things under control, I can certainly see why you didn’t want to.

Look, it’s not for me to say whether ‘the punishment outweighs the reward,’ as you put it, or even if there was punishment involved at all. Just as the saying is almost a cliché that ‘no one regrets having not spent enough time at the office on their deathbed,’ so I can’t imagine you being forced to conclude that you should have spent more time doing housework. After all, it was Martha who Jesus reproved from not having chosen ‘the better thing,’ and she was the one who chose the housework. So… I really don’t know what the right decision was. It may be more was you eschewed housework for that was the problem, but most likely, any attempt to seek out causes and effects are at best pointless, and at worst, leading down some dark, blind alleys.

What gets to me is the fact that you admit that these shortcomings are beyond your ability to correct, especially at this point. And yet, I’ve heard stories from people (Jan in particular comes to mind) who offered to give assistance, but were turned down. For all that I constantly say that I had no regrets about our relationship, not having been able to help you through this need – either by not being aware of it, or leaving you to deal with it on your own terms, as you seemed to wish – is something I do wish we’d had a chance to deal with. Although, even now I wonder whether you would be pleased with the progress I’ve made, or annoyed – or worse – with everything I needed to get rid of in order to get here.

For the record, Ellen suggests that you would be a little bit of both. And while she would be the leading authority, I wish I knew for certain.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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