We’re sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening to the greatest sermon ever preached: the Sermon on the Mount.
How serious is God about sin? Here’s what Jesus said.
You have heard that it was said, “Do not commit adultery.” But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go to hell.
It has been said, “Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.” But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
The message couldn’t be clearer: stop sin at its source. Now.
Jesus isn’t advocating self-mutilation. That wouldn’t cure our lust because it’s a disease of the heart. He uses this graphic language to get us to see the deadliness of sin and to urge us to nip our lustful thoughts in the bud before they bloom into full-blown adulterous actions.
Jesus’ words apply today probably more than at any other time in the history of the planet. Lust-inducing images are everywhere: TV, Internet, movies, billboards — even the grocery store checkout line. Almost everywhere you go, sin screams “Look at me!”
The solution? It’s simple: Don’t Look! Every time you’re confronted with an offensive image, remember Jesus’ words, think “gouge!” and look away. And never ever forget that we’re never ever alone. Ask the Holy Spirit to smack sin down before it seeps into your heart.
Here are some other great verses to keep in mind …
Guard your heart:
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk from your lips. Let your eyes gaze straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. (Proverbs 4:23-26)
Fill your mind with holy thoughts:
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)
Or, put another way:
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus. (Hebrews 12:2)
(Image credit: Shutterstock.com)