Cut Off Your Hand

by Elder Peter Lim

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time. That’s right. It’s time to cut off your hand. To poke out your eye. Of course I don’t mean literally.

Matthew 5:29-30 says “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.”

This passage is not teaching that we should literally dismember ourselves. Even if we did, it wouldn’t cure us of our sin since this solution doesn’t deal with the heart. But it is making a point that we need to take drastic measures to prune sinful behavior from our lives. Have you been struggling with the same sins for years and years? Have you made the same resolutions to not sin the same sin over and over again? Notice that this passage doesn’t say to cut off someone else’s hand if it causes them to sin. This hatred of sin is motivated by one’s own desire to deal with one’s own sin, not a desire to remove someone else’s speck.

What does this mean practically? Here are some suggestions. If your computer causes you to sin, get rid of it. Literally. Or only allow yourself to use a computer for particular purposes that you predefine as being legit. Are you tempted by your TV? Get rid of it. Or at least set some limits for yourself and ask someone to keep you accountable to them. It could be as simple as limiting the hours, particular programs, or only watching pre-recorded content on your DVR.

Getting someone to keep you accountable may be a little humbling because you’d be admitting that you have struggles in a particular area. Really, is eating humble pie so bad? Confess your proud hearts and take some bold steps to address your weaknesses. This isn’t legalism. This is a sincere desire to honor God. Remember that He is as concerned with holiness as he ever was in the Old Testament since He never changes. As we ask God to change our hearts so that our actions are more consistent with His character, we will become more useful instruments for Him to use to minister to others.

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The Beacon is the monthly newsletter for Lighthouse Bible Church in San Diego, California. It covers a variety of subjects including LBC events, church history, current events from a Christan perspective, ministry profiles, and messages from our pastors and elders. To join the Beacon ministry, please contact Stephen Rodgers.

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