Cut it off.

Mark 9 & Psalm 133

“If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell…” Mark 9:43-47

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never really taken Mark 9 all that seriously. Sure, I understand that Jesus isn’t actually asking us to physically saw off a foot if it causes us to sin. But I believe that He is being far more serious about the importance of cutting sin out of our lives than we think.

In fact, I can’t remember the last time I took a drastic action in order to work to remove sin from my life. Whether it’s pride, selfishness, materialism, or any other struggle of mine, I’ve never realized the importance of focusing hard on getting sin it out of my life. I think what Jesus is saying in Mark 9:43-47 is that if we’re serious about making a change in the sin that’s in our lives, we need to do everything in our power to cut it out- no matter how drastic that might be.

I don’t know what sin you’re particularly struggling with today, or what sin instantly comes to mind when you read this post, but I do know that all sin is equal in the eyes of God… and every sin is a sin worth this strong of an approach as far as its removal.

Not only is it important to make every effort to remove sin from our lives because it brings fuller life, causes us to look more like Jesus, and honors God more, but there’s another major reason we should be getting more serious about removing sin from our life: Those who don’t know Jesus are daily watching how we act and developing an understanding of the character of our God from our actions, words, attitudes, motives, behavior, language, and habits. We are the only examples of Jesus that many people will ever see or encounter, and it is our job to represent Him well. Keeping this truth in mind motivates me to cut sin out of my life like nothing else.

Friends, let’s get serious about our sin and stop pretending that it’s a smaller deal than it is. Let’s balance feeling the guilt that our sin deserves with experiencing the grace that God so freely offers us through Jesus, and take actionable steps today in removing sin from our lives… whatever it takes. Let’s rely on Jesus to do this in us, and not simply focus on trying harder. He’s ready and waiting to help us.