Inner Strength

Pruning Your Spiritual Diet

“If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell…” Mark 9:43-47

In this passage, Jesus is teaching on the importance of living life without sin. He explains that if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off, because it is better to live a holy life with one hand than to enter hell with two. Sin is serious.

Jesus’ teaching brings to mind the question: Is there something in my life that needs to be removed? Is there a “foot” causing me to stumble that needs cut off?

As in Jesus’ example with the hand, foot, and eye, if something causes us to sin, He instructs us to cut it out of our lives.

In Mark 7:20b-23, Jesus says, “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”

If these evil things come from within, let’s examine what we’re allowing inside our hearts. What images are we watching? To what influences are we listening? What are we declaring through songs we sing along with on the radio?

There are things out there that fill our minds with ideas that aren’t lovely or admirable. If watching reality television causes you to gossip and criticize others, perhaps pray about cutting it out. If there are programs that make you angry, lustful, or depressed, consider removing them from your diet.

If listening to break-up songs makes you bitter and resentful, consider no longer listening to those stations. If watching romantic movies makes you feel envious and discontent, ask God if it’s something He’s calling you to remove. If visiting a certain blog or webpage prompts feelings of lust, cut out that webpage.

In Luke 6:45, Jesus says, “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”

What are we storing up in our hearts?

I encourage you to ask God if there’s something He’s calling you to cut out. While it might feel difficult at first, God will give you the grace to succeed and will draw you closer to Himself in the process.

Through Jesus, there is forgiveness of sins so you can start fresh in your walk with God. God loves you and is there for you. Nothing is impossible with Him.

Life with God is amazing and wonderful. Eternity with Him will be even better. Let’s not allow the distractions of this world to interfere with who God is calling us to be. He is reaching out to you. Take His hand, and abide in His love.

As it says in Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” God is not hiding from you. He wants to be found. He will move in your life if you welcome Him in. Life with God is the very best life we can live.

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