Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cutting Off Limbs and Gouging Out Eyes

What a topic my blog group has given me this week! It sounds pretty gruesome. It actually comes from a passage in the New Testament, where Jesus is talking about our sin. It is in Matthew 5:27-30, “You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.’ 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” Jesus is making a comparison between the sin we commit, and the steps we should take to not sin.

In reality, Jesus is not telling us to cut off our limbs, or to gouge out our eyes. We would still sin even if we did that. The point is, we lust for many things; not just sexual. We lust for nicer cars, bigger houses, fatter paychecks. We lust for wonderful vacations, respect, power. How can we keep ourselves from sin? One way is to realize that we are called to give up that which is sin and that which will cause us to sin. Another way is by focusing on Jesus. Jesus helps us to live better lives, and when we do sin, Jesus can take that sin away when we confess.

If you stare four dots on the nose of the picture above for about 30 seconds, and then look at a white wall, the face of Jesus will come into focus. When we are looking to Jesus, we will be guided by His thoughts, and His ways; really the thoughts and ways of God. In this way, we will have a different perspective for life. Much better than cutting off your limbs, or gouging out your eyes, is to learn to focus on Jesus. The phrase “what would Jesus do” has become cliché for many. That is unfortunate, because it really is a good thought. If we think about what Jesus would do in a situation, and then act accordingly, our lives would be much better off, and so would our world.