But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone hung around your neck. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one hand than to go into the unquenchable fires of hell with two hands. If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one foot than to be thrown into hell with two feet. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It’s better to enter the Kingdom of God with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where the maggots never die and the fire never goes out.
-Jesus (Mark 9:42-48)
Before you go start cutting limbs off, pause for one second and really listen to this verse. I think this verse is saying that whatever is prohibiting you from following God and/or causing you to sin needs to be cut off from your life. I heard it described once as whatever the monkey on your back is that’s keeping you from God-chuck it! I think sometimes we get so caught up in our lives, our jobs, our goals, and our sin that it literally inhibits us from going where God wants us to. I don’t know about yall, but that’s kind of a scary thought! Honestly, right now I cannot pin point what might be keeping me from God. This verse has really revealed to me that I need to be more aware of that. I know things are holding me back because sometimes I feel more distant from God than others. Some days, sitting down and having that quiet time where I sit and read my Bible feels more like a chore or something on my checklist to check off then move on with my day. Some days, praying even feels like just something to check off. It shouldn’t be like that. I get so wrapped up in my day that I don’t give God that time that he has obviously deserved. I think even getting wrapped up in the moment causes me to sin. For example, when I’m with non Christian friends, I’m not as likely to have God on my mind, I don’t always pray before I eat,etc. , and I gossip. But do I cut off these friends? I don’t think so. I think I need to get the “what would they think/say” monkey off my back so I don’t feel the need to gossip or don’t care what they would think if I did pray before I eat. Thankfully, we’ve been given the perfect example of how to live life and stand up to temptations and have friend with non-similar lifestyles through Christ. I feel like a broken record on this blog, constantly saying how we need to not care what the world thinks and stand for Christ, but apparently that means I’m not quite grasping that fully and God keeps laying it on my heart and letting me know to step it up. Unfortunately, I think there’s always going to be that monkey and as soon as one gets thrown off, another’s just going to be thrown right back on, but I think that’s how we learn and grow. We learn about ourselves and what we struggle with and where we tend to get tripped up, and learn new ways how God can help push us and make us stronger. But it is important that we keep cutting off whatever is tripping us up so that we can move forward and not continue to sin in the same way that we have been.