If I Lust, I Should Do What?

What did Jesus mean when he said to gouge out a lustful eye?
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Not long ago, I was under a lot of pressure to do a lot of writing at home alone. As I sat there with my computer staring up at me, I could feel more and more lustful thoughts battering my brain. I knew I could easily hop online and see things I shouldn't, so I e–mailed a friend and asked him to be my accountability partner. Through an Internet program I subscribed to, he got to look at every website I visited. Less radical than canceling my Internet service, but it worked.

Your temptation may not be lust. But whatever your major temptation, Jesus is saying, "Pay attention! Individual sins have a way of turning into habits. Habits turn into mega–habits. And mega–habits can so corrupt the soul, eternal disaster is the consequence."

If that scares you, that's OK. You're dealing with reality. You should really worry if you start thinking, So what's the big deal? To be a little afraid means you respect Jesus, and you're taking him seriously. That means you're already on the road to dealing with your sin. So the next step is this: Figure out a practical step to halt temptation in its tracks. And then do what it takes to "gouge out an eye."

Mark is managing editor of Christianity Today magazine and the author of Jesus Mean and Wild: The Surprising Love of an Untamable God (Baker, 2006), available soon at Christianbook.com.

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