"If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away." Matthew 5:29
Working in a bank office environment for many years was excellent preparation for my work in pastoral ministry. That helped me see the complexities of human relationships and the Bible's accurate diagnosis of human ills. I came to understand God's wisdom in warning us to avoid certain paths. Unfortunately many of the pastoral lessons I learned at the bank came from situations in which people decided to take the wrong road.
In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus addresses one of those situations when he warns us of "the look." It was a serious problem then--and still is today: people allow their eyes to stray, and their minds become occupied with lust to possess someone for sexual pleasure.
Jesus' suggested remedy is not meant to create a community of one-eyed disciples. It's meant to challenge the casual way we approach this problem. Secular society has taken "the look of lust" off its sin list. Jesus doesn't endorse such apathy and carelessness.
Perhaps today Jesus would have phrased it this way: "If you can't walk by that attractive receptionist in your office building without keeping your thoughts and emotions under control, then find another way to get to your office; for it will be better for you to take the back stairs than to end up on an elevator headed straight for the torments of hell."
Lord Jesus, we look forward to offering you all glory, honor, praise, and adoration forever. Help us to offer you pure and holy living, in the strength of your Spirit. Amen.
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