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Do you remember Jesus’ radical prescription for avoiding temptation? In Matthew 5:27-30, He suggested that we should cut out or cut off whatever it is that leads us into sin.

In the news this week was the story of Hartford, CT resident Jonathan Metz, a single man, who lived alone, who while trying to fix the boiler in his basement got his left arms stuck in the boiler.

In trying to free himself, his arm was cut and became infected. Without a phone to call for help, he tried to free himself for two days. On the third day, as he realized gangrene was setting in and he had to do something, so he made a tourniquet near his shoulder and began cutting off his arm. Although he was not able to cut his entire arm off, he cut enough of it that the gangrene couldn’t spread. He was rescued later that day when friends called the police after he couldn’t be reached for a number of days.

He lost his arm, but he saved his life. Jesus suggests that we take that kind of radical approach spiritually to free ourselves from temptation and sin.

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