Sunday, January 9, 2011

Root Bound Christians

When my wife and I bought our house in Florida, the previous owners had planted some azalea bushes in the backyard. The bushes looked rather scrawny and didn't bloom like they were supposed to. We watered them and put fertilizer around them, but they still didn't bloom. The next year the same thing happened. Watered. Fertilized. No blooms. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with them.

The following Spring all the azalea bushes died. As I dug them up, I discovered the problem. Their roots were in the exact shape of the container that they were in when the previous owners bought them! The bushes struggled and eventually died because they were root bound.

How did the plants become root bound? When they were in the container, the roots hit the side of the pot and then turned around and grew inward. Some of the plants had roots growing in circles because they followed the curvature of the plastic container.

If you want a bush to grow in a healthy way, you've got to take a screw driver, stick it in the root ball, pull all the roots apart so they can grow outward, and then plant it in the ground. But when the previous owners pulled the azaleas out of the pots to plant them, they just stuck them in the ground and skipped breaking up the roots. As a result, the roots stayed in the shape of the container and never grew out into the dirt. The plants couldn't get the nutrition they needed and eventually died.

Is it possible that you are root bound? Perhaps you're stuck inside a comfort zone, doing the same things over and over again. You do the same religious rituals without even thinking about it. You're afraid to try something new and different. Your spiritual life is dull and boring because you're like the root bound azalea bush. Surely there is more to the Christian life than that!

God is calling you to spread your roots. He wants you to take a step of faith out of your comfort zone. It may be just a few small changes, or it might be a major change. Ask Him what He wants you to do differently and then do it. Take the screw driver to the roots. If you don't, you'll shrivel up like those azalea bushes and never bloom. To hear the entire message on "Breaking Out of Comfort Zones" go to and click on "Fulfilling Your Destiny, part 2"