Get to the Root Cause

Get to the Root Cause

Today’s gospel (Matthew 5: 27-32) continues the theme from yesterday where Jesus takes the law to a new level and raises the bar on the behavior of His disciples.

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery.
But I say to you,
everyone who looks at a woman with lust
has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If your right eye causes you to sin,
tear it out and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.
And if your right hand causes you to sin,
cut it off and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.

“It was also said,
Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.
But I say to you,
whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful)
causes her to commit adultery,
and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

Similar to yesterday’s gospel story, Jesus takes the seventh commandment and takes it a step further focused more on the behavior and less on the action itself. As mentioned yesterday His purpose here is to change our hearts and make our hearts clean and pure to be open more towards loving God and others. The key part of this passage from my perspective is:

If your right eye causes you to sin,
tear it out and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.
And if your right hand causes you to sin,
cut it off and throw it away.

What is Jesus telling us here? “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away.” I think Jesus is talking about finding out what the root cause of your sin is and eliminating that root cause so you don’t sin any longer. If you don’t eliminate the root cause it will be much more difficult to stop the sin. I believe Jesus is asking us to look deeply inside ourselves to see what is driving that sin. Was it the result of a significant event or hurt in your life? Are you lonely? Do you live in guilt because no matter how hard you try and avoid sin you can’t and you are very hard on yourself as a result? Whatever that root cause is, bring *that* to Jesus for healing. You can continue to pray for Jesus to heal you of the sinful acts that you commit, but ultimately if you don’t eliminate the root cause you will likely be one of the many people in the world that work hard to be good disciples and then sin over and over again because they never got to the root of the issue. Jesus wants to heal our hearts and by doing so open them to a deeper love for God and for others. Our part in that I to reflect not only on our behavior, but on the drivers of that behavior and work to address those drivers permanently to heal your heart and open yourself to a deeper level of love we may never have thought possible.

God Bless

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