2012-03-29 - Root Cause
Matt 5:28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (NASB)
Here Jesus has raised the bar against the teaching of His day and what is considered to be commonly understood today. Our western culture screams about what is sexy. The today definition is often smeared with what is considered attractive and required in some social instances. Young ladies and young men too are forcefully sold a bill of goods that they must conform with X, Y and Z or they will be unpopular. It is a lie and a trap.
So if holding on to and entertaining the thought is sin before the action then the requirements are more demanding than many want to accept. Read a little further.
Matt 5:29 If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell. (NASB)
These are two very strongly worded verses. They do give clear the perspective that sin is dangerous. It is the trap that satisfies temporarily but still wants more. To the non-believer it is the light that draws in the moth to the flame of destruction. To the believer it is the damage to the credibility and life and honey that traps in habitual sin as well. Sin is enticing. It is exciting. And it is difficult to put down once it is picked up. The trap can be escaped with help - heartfelt prayer and repentance, leaning on God, counseling and accountability.
These verses also make what appear to be very high demands. Consider, if you think what you see or touch with is the problem remove the offending body part. It is true that saving the body part would not be worth going to hell for eternity. I dare say we would have a population of one-handed, half or fully blinded Christians if this were taken without the first verse above. Did Jesus say looking at the woman (or the man) was the problem? Dwelling on what was seen and toying with sin in the heart was the problem! Jesus clearly stated that lust was the catalyst that ignites the vision, not the vision alone.
If you remove your eye or your hand you will still have the memory of the woman, or the man. I assure you that the neither the eye nor the hand are the root cause of the problem. What would be done with the memories in the heart, the emotional thoughts and desires, would indeed the problem. Leave your hands and eyes unharmed, be honest with yourself and know that God has something much better for you that the world's bill of goods. Selah!
Grace & Peace,