Cut it Out, Cut it Off

Nicholas Nieblas

“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."  Mark 9:43

Since coming on staff at Sunrise Ontario Campus, I have severely damaged my left hand twice in the past six months. The first injury occurred when a few friends and I were attempting to clean out and dig up my backyard in preparation for pouring of some concrete.  I was pushing a wheelbarrow up over a mound of dirt near my bedroom window.  I got off balance and instead of letting go and allowing the wheelbarrow handle to break the window, I attempted to stop it.  Of course, in that split second I didn’t have a full understanding of where my center of gravity was.  The wheelbarrow handle broke the window by pushing my hand through it.  It was not pretty.  I received 21 stitches and was unable to use my left hand for several weeks, which, for a guitar playing worship leader, is quite frustrating. I’m still not fully recovered.

My second injury was an odd one. My left thumb was throbbing and in a lot of pain.  I went to the doctor and they said that they thought it might be some kind of infection and they gave me antibiotics.  It didn’t get better after a week. It got worse.  Eventually, after more than 5 doctors investigating, they ended up lancing it and putting a pea sized whole in the top of my nail and thumb.  This, as you can imagine, also hindered my ability to play guitar.

I am relatively healed up now, yet I have never been more grateful to have two working hands, 8 functional fingers and 2 opposable thumbs.  These ordeals have made me think about what it might be like to not have a hand.  It would be uncomfortable, frustrating, depressing, and downright infuriating.

Yet, Jesus tells us that if we cannot beat a sin habit that is being perpetrated by our hand, it is better to CUT IT OFF than to continue in that sin.  Jesus is essentially saying that He would rather you be uncomfortable and physically handicapped than comfortable and spiritually handicapped.

A lot of people would agree that cutting off your hand is just not practical.  And really, who wants to re-learn how to write with the other anyway?  However, that computer you look at pornography on; it's movable and tossable - straight into the dumpster.  If it's a laptop, you could probably get some pretty good distance with it.  Those credit cards that you can’t keep from spending on?  Little ol’ scissors will cut those things right up.  That relationship that is not God honoring?  No ring?  Ain't a thing.  Drop it.

God is not interested in your comfort.  He is interested in your changed life and your eternal salvation.  When it comes to sin, it is much better to cut it out of your life than to be cut off from God.  Start today.

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