making the cut
"What I say to you is: anyone who looks lustfully at a woman has already committed adultery with her in his thoughts." —Matthew 5:28
Jesus said that to overcome sexual temptations we should cut out our eyes or cut off our hands, if necessary (Mt 5:29-30). Our permissive secular humanistic society says that, when we are sexually tempted, we should give in to our sexual desires as long as we have fallopian tubes cut, have a vasectomy, or at least use a condom or pill.
Jesus does not mean for us literally to gouge out our eyes or cut off our hands. He means that we should resist sexual temptations so strongly that we would die rather than sin (see Heb 12:4). If necessary, we would cut off our cable TV, throw away our TV, or cut off our Internet access, for it is better to enter heaven without a TV than to throw ourselves into hell forever. Jesus emphatically maintains that purity, holiness, and freedom take precedence over entertainment, popularity, and pleasure.
Anything less than a militant stand against sexual temptations is foolish and extremely dangerous. We can get AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases from some sexual sins, but worse than these tragedies is that we can separate ourselves from Jesus and be damned in hell forever. Don't play around with sexual temptations. Don't repeatedly fall into sin. One sin is one too many. Listen to Jesus. Be pure and free.
Prayer: Father, may I want to be pure more than anything else.
Promise: "I have been most zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts." —1 Kgs 19:14
Praise: Peter saw fasting as extreme sacrifice but it became easier as his love for Christ grew.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape on Sex, Speech, and the Risen Life on audio AV 4B-3 or video V-4B.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 4, 2001
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 10, 2001