I’ve been watching House, M.D. lately. If any of you have watched an episode of House, you know how they tend to set things up: person gets sick, they go to House, House and his team write down the symptoms and do what they call a “Differential Diagnosis”. Basically, they look at the list of symptoms and call out different sicknesses that the symptoms may elude to. Midway through each episode, the team thinks they’ve found a cure for the sickness, only to find another symptom that throws the diagnosis off. Obviously, until they find exactly what the particular sickness is, treating the symptoms only heal the person temporarily.

It’s the exact same with everything else in our lives. On the simple side, a 2-year-old throws a tantrum and a parent tells them to stop. The child will stop only to continue crying silently. Symptom, taken care of; real issue, the child doesn’t want to share, hasn’t been dealt with. On the more serious side, take someone who always makes jokes about their marriage. You could tell that person to be more serious but, in reality, they make jokes because they may not know how to communicate their hurts, unhappiness, or fears, with their spouse or anyone else for that matter.

When different situations are being handled the same way and things aren’t changing, we should begin to look further than the situation and our feelings. We should take notice of the deeper issues. Because nothing will change or be changed until we begin to look at the root or the heart of the matter.

In Matthew 23, Jesus is talking to the Pharisees about their motives: 25 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside may also be clean.

Yes, Jesus was talking about motives but it applies to dealing with our issues as well. If we talk about, pray about, work through our issues, (cleaning the inside of the cup) our outside will be cleaned as well (no symptoms).

The person that is mean or angry all the time may have been hurt in the past and they haven’t forgiven the person who hurt them. The person who can never be serious may be afraid to be vulnerable because someone may have broken that trust in the past. The person that doesn’t want to change may be dealing with fear due to past changes that have caused bad situations they couldn’t control. Most of the time, we operate out of the heart issue via our symptom.

House and his team correctly diagnose the sickness and find a cure by the end of each episode.

In John 10:10, Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

We, humans, are the “they” in that scripture. So, let us take Jesus up on that offer. Let us begin and keep uprooting those things that continue to “steal, kill, and destroy” our lives. Because only then can we fully accept and live out the abundant life.

Be blessed and walk in victory.

“Love Jesus. Love people. Love life.”

– Rafer Jr.