Tough Enough?

Photo Credit: Bycfotografem via Pixabay

Photo Credit: Bycfotografem via Pixabay

“And if your eye causes you to sin, 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 9:47

When it comes to one’s matters of personal conduct, preparation and performance, here’s a plateful of probing, beneficial questions…
• Are you tough enough on yourself?
• Tough enough to say ‘No’ to yourself?
• Tough enough to say to self, “No, not acceptable. Do it again, right, better.”
• Tough enough not to wait for someone else’s discipline and apply it to yourself?
• Finding the right balance in what’s enough and what’s too far?
• Tough enough to call personal sin ‘sin’ and then do something about it?
• As you enter a new day, are you prepared to fight as hard as necessary so that future wins will be guaranteed?
Good discipline produces great freedom. Freedom in the future hinges on discipline now.

In Mark 9:42-48, Jesus challenges us to be tough on ourselves, for our own good. He wants us entering God’s kingdom for sure, but He wants us going in (not down) swinging, striving as victors, fighting like victors, disciplined and tough now, not just established as victors in the end. He wants both. He says it’s better that way. He’d rather we learn to be tough on ourselves than for Him to apply all the toughness. What kind of man would only allow another man to apply the heat? Isn’t toughness also applied by self a better way to live?

That’s why Jesus said it’s better to pluck out your own eye if it’s causing you to sin than leave it unaddressed and let another apply the discipline, doing the removal. So take sin seriously. Apply some heat, some urgency, and get tough. It’s a much better way to live.

For reflection:
• How good are you at saying no to yourself?
• Known enviably well for your personal toughness (or just your toughness on others)?
• Taking all personal sin seriously enough?
• Got some urgency in your toughness?
• Relying on Christ to help you with your toughness? (His example is amazing and His Spirit so powerful.)

O LORD, thank You for showing me what real toughness looks like in Christ. May I, by your Spirit, be the same.  Help me deal tough with matters of personal sin. Fix whatever eyes I have on You and this better way to live!

Be tough. Fight sin.
Press on. Eyes on Him.

Titus 2:11–15
Hebrews 12:1–12

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