“. . . it is better for you to enter life crippled, . . .” Mark 9:43
Success comes from sacrifice. We recognize this truth, but seldom apply it to ourselves. It’s true regarding our spiritual life. Success in one area comes from sacrifice in another. No one ever attains great things spiritually, without giving up other things along the way.
We must be willing to sacrifice pleasant self-indulgence. We have to shut out the noise of the world to hear Him more clearly. The ones who achieve Christ-like character have paid a high price. There is, in every disciple’s life, a cutting off required.
It’s the cutting off of harmful practices from one’s life. The hand, the foot, the eye, represent the whole of our life. The hand symbolizes what we do. The foot where we go. And the eye what we see. The principle is clear. It’s better to clean up your life here, by making hard decisions now, even if it hurts.
Christianity is no sentimental, wishy-washy way of living. To believe it is, is nonsense.
Christianity is not comfy.
Cutting off and casting away are choices we make. We delude ourselves by thinking someone else will do it. They won’t. Not even God will. The things we have to cut off and cast away are not the same for all, nor are they evil things, but they are stumbling blocks, hindrances to our spiritual life. We each must examine our own life. Christ’s compelling call demands some real, gut-level answers.
Are there places your feet carry you that you have no business being?
Do you attend events which involve temptation you can’t handle?
Are there hidden activities or habits which occupy your time, money and attention, that if someone knew about, you would be embarrassed?
What are you reading that is keeping you away from God?
How many hours do you spend watching programs filled with the very things Christ died for?
Where does your mind go when you’re not focused on work?
If the answers to any of these questions create a tinge of guilt, Jesus says we must take action – cut out the temptation and cut off the lifestyle of compromise.
It’s better you enter the presence of Jesus with battle wounds and bruises from having fought the good fight.