Men, in general, can banter with each other much more harshly than women, and they remain friends. Oddly, this kind of teasing even seems to draw them closer to one another.  Phrases I have heard guys say to each other: “you have the biggest head I’ve ever seen!” or “you look like you ate a small dog since I saw you last” or “what happened to your face? That looks nasty!” If a woman tried to say any of these to a female friend, World War three would ensue.

That last quote was said recently to a dear man who had to have about 30 places taken off of his face at his last dermatology appointment. Having stuff cut and burned off is is a scary thing because they don’t remove layers of your skin unless there is a potential problem that could lead to a much bigger problem. Typically, it is a concern that cancer may be developing, lurking, or has begun its multi-strike attack. I won’t go down the rabbit hole of some folks voluntarily removing layers of their skin in hopes of finding a younger version of themselves there beneath, but in a strange sense, it is for the same reason of removing something unwanted and disruptive.

I myself just had some places burned off – one on the very tip of my nose. I have considered hibernation, and am imposing heavy makeup, but I can count on MY friends to never say a word about it, or if so, to tell me that it isn’t that noticeable, and that it will be gone, soon, anyway.

My current situation has made me think about sin and its impact on our lives.    

  • Sometimes, we see a blemish and choose NOT do a check to see if it is cancer-causing. Is it something that displeases Jesus, or distances me from Him? If I don’t examine it, I can fool myself into thinking the answer is no.
  • On occasion, I am blind to the fact that something needs to be cut out because it is potentially harmful. In this case, the best people to have in my life are those who not only see something I don’t, but who will also point out that there is something in need of examination.
  • Most dangerous of all is when there are sins that I know are there, but I’m not addressing. These beg the questions: do I remove it immediately? or put it off and risk dying over it?


Mark 9:43-47 says: 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.”

This sounds dramatic but there are two important things to note:

  1. Jesus is pure and holy and cannot be near sin, so our sin separates us from Him. When we accept Jesus, we are covered by His blood. Our sins do not condemn us to hell. However, sin makes it so that we don’t experience God’s best for our lives. He isn’t a cosmic cop waiting to zap us for our sin. Rather, He is a loving God who outlines ways to live so that we experience His best for us – abundant, full and purposeful life! Sin puts a wedge in our relationship with Him. Whatever leads us away from His will for our lives and distances us from Him puts us in a sort of “hell on earth” where nothing has the meaning and fulfillment that it would if we submitted to Him. We cheat ourselves.
  2. The next thing to note is that if we do not accept Jesus’s sacrifice for us, we are judged by our actions. Since perfection is required to be in heaven with Jesus, and perfection is not possible, so would heaven be. Jesus is our ticket to heaven!

 

We have a doctor cut out cancer that could make our lives miserable, or possibly lead to death. Similarly, we should address our sin, ask Jesus for help cutting it out, and keep a watchful eye out for anything that would keep us from walking in lock step with our Savior. Regular exams are necessary, and the cutting part is often painful and difficult. The reward, however, is that we avoid future pain or death, and life becomes much more worth living!