Throw it Away

If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell

Matthew 5:9

In my opinion, the Bible should always be taken literally except in cases where it is obvious that there is a deeper meaning. In the book of Matthew Jesus tells us that if a part of of body is causing us to sin then we should get rid of it. In this verse he is specifically about the sin of lust. Jesus states that even looking at a woman with lust in your heart is equivalent to committing adultry. He then goes on to say it would be better to pluck out your eye than to continue looking at a woman in a way that might lead us down a path to destruction. In modern terms it would mean get rid of all of your social media account, block certain channels or your TV, and put a filter on your internet if necessary.

This idea of getting rid of the thing that causes you to sin extends past lust. It could be a car that you love soooooo much. You spend countless hours and dollars on making it perfect. It has become a status symbol to you and eventually leads you down the path of idolatry. Well if this is the case, Matthew 5:9 would tell you to sell the car. I found my own Matthew 5:9 moment in my final years as a coach.

One of the things I was known for as a young man was for having a fiery temper. After accepting Christ at the age of 17, for the most part my temper was in check. I had an occaisional eruption when I felt someone was threatening or endangering my family but I felt as if God had delivered me from my anger. I felt this way until I got into coaching. I was patient with my athlete and with other coaches but I was not so kid to referees. I would yell at them, berate and belittle them, and even throw chairs to show my displeasure with there calls. I justified it by saying I was standing up for my athletes.

There were a few different ways that God convicted me of this sin but the one that sticks out happened as I was coaching a childrens’ wrestling camp. I worked with one kid who really took a liking to me. His father came over to tell me how impressed he was with the patience I showed his child. I went on to explain ways he could work with his child at home on techniques. The dad thanked me and told me it was really nice talking to me, especially since I wasn’t yelling at him. It was at that moment that I realized he was one of the many referees that I had been so mean to. This moment cut me to the core. It was at that moment that I decided walk away from coaching. I made this decision because I knew that if this was the area that caused me to stumble, it was better for me to walk away from it that to risk feeding whatever was inside of me that caused me to act the way that I did.

Maybe one day I will get back into coaching, but only if God leads me in that direction and assures me that he has purged the part of my heart that caused me to act so rudely to officials.

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