Far too often, we focus on the fruit, branches and outgrowth of a tree that we ignore. When we examine ourselves and assess the people around us, I think that we have a destructive tendency to spend our energy focusing on the wrong stuff!
There is a root!
What is the root?
What is the real issue?
What is the deeper issue?
Let me explain with a few examples.
Maybe you do not care to be around someone because they are always focused on themselves, so you conclude that they are self centered. Maybe your perception of their self-centerdness is not the root, or even the truth. Perhaps they spent their life being rejected and feeling worthless and now they are trying to compensate for deep hurt. But, all you do is look at the fruit and not the root, missing out on a great chance to really know someone.
Perhaps you have become aware that someone does not "like you" because of something you did or said (and you think that what you said was no big deal). Maybe the issue has nothing to do with what you said, but traces way back to some deep sense of jealousy they have toward you from years ago. If you just stop at the present frustration, you will miss the deeper reality.
Look, if you find yourself puzzled over why someone is upset with you over something so "small", the chances are that the "small" thing is NOT at all what they are upset over. There is something much deeper that they cannot or will not name.
If you are easily agitated by someone over small things, there is probably a bigger thing underneath that you are scared to acknowledge.
It may be your feelings toward someone else. Or someone else's feelings toward you. But, all too often I am seeing people miss the root wile they worry over the fruit.
There is a deeper issue. Stop ignoring it. Ask the Lord for courage and hit head on. It will open up the door to some deep relational healing.