dismembering myself

dismembering myself

I was never quite sure if Jesus meant that we should literally dismember ourselves, but the contrast he drew was both radical and graphic. 

As someone recovering from addiction, I understand what it means to have accountability and guardrails.  I am on a quest for physical health and emotional wellness.  In order for me to see this through, I have to be very careful of the things that I put before my eyes. There are just certain people, and situations that I have dismember myself from.

In Matthew 5:27-30, Jesus draws a stark contrast between seeking the Kingdom of God and pursing a life that leads to hell.  Some argue that the hell discussed is simply the grave. Others experts I read behind say that’s its the place of eternal punishment.  The point for me is that if I am to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, I must avoid anything that could trip me up (Hebrews 12:1, Matthew 6:33).

Plucking out an eye, or cutting off an arm is a pretty radical thing to do.   If I’m to be honest, it sounds rather cult like.

But the analogies that Jesus puts forth tell me that The Kingdom of God has a value that far exceeds even my basic instinct for self preservation (Matthew 13:44-45).  The radical Muslims will attest to this fact.  Paul writes that this present life is insignificant in comparison to what is to come (Romans 8:18, Philippians 1:23).


Along my journey, there will always someone, some thing, or some place that will cause me to stumble.

I must stay sober. (John 16:33, 1 Peter 5:8)

Here’s the practical application as it applies to me (and maybe you):

– Deactivate my Facebook account (or unfriend some people), if something I see causes me to take an unhealthy second-look, or to click on a link that I wouldn’t click in front of my family

– Change the channel, get rid of cable, Netflix, Hulu, if having these things in my home could cause me to wonder in a unhealthy direction. I have one friend that unplugs the TV just as soon as he walks into a hotel room

I’d rather go through this life denying myself the things that are natural to my humanity in exchange for those things that last forever.

You can probably think of places, people, or events that you should dismember yourself from because they have the potential to cause you to get off whatever track you happen to be on.  It’s different for each person.

If your trying to be a success in business, it may do you well to dismember yourself from negative, unethical people, or even companies.  How about taking a demotion if you are tempted to overwork and neglect your family. Dismember yourself from your credit cards if they cause you to overspend, or the buffet if you overeat.  Dismember yourself from things that waste your time.

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