And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
Sometimes extreme measures are necessary. We excuse too many things, allow sins and attitudes and thoughts to remain that should be cast far from us. We deem things necessary in our lives that are bringing us down and cling to them out of pride, ignorance or disobedience. It’s easy to make excuses for ourselves and let some things slide, but that becomes a very dangerous attitude when it leads us further and further from the right path.
If a live grenade was right beside us, we would be foolish to grab it and hold it close. It will only destroy us completely. Better to make the small sacrifice now instead of having to make the big one later. It’s easier to drop something hot when we feel the pain of the burn fresh on our skin. It’s much harder when our skin is burnt and numb and we are unable to realize the damage being done as we hold on to something that hurts us.
God wants purity, righteousness, our whole heart. Yes, it is painful to cut off the offending right hand. Yes, it will leave us maimed and hindered in some way. Plucking out an eye would be a big sacrifice. But we have to ask ourselves how far we are willing to go to have a right relationship with God. Is it worth keeping if it drags us all the way to hell? There are things that are necessary sacrifices. There are things we have to get rid of in order to live the kind of life God wants us to. And sometimes it means giving up something valuable. In those moments, we must decide which is more important to us.
Our right hand might be our strong hand and our right eye the dominant one. But we have two hands and two eyes, so if we get rid of one, there is another left over. And in this handicapped and weakened state, we must rely more on God. His mighty right hand will be our strength, and His all-seeing eyes will guide our steps. And if we follow Him with a surrendered, obedient heart, He has the power to make us whole again.