Jesus commands us that, â€œif thy hand offend thee, cut it off (Mk 9:43).â€ He repeats this for the foot and eye, with the point being: take the battle against sin seriously. Better to lose limbs than let sin conquer you. Better to live free and die, than to live in slavery to sin and die spiritually.
In this room are a wide-variety of sins. The sin which you might find such a struggle to overcome might not be the sin which the person to the left of you finds they are beset by, and the person on your right could be facing some other sin entirely. But each of you need to face your sins and temptations square in the face and resolve to do whatever it takes, by the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, to resist your sins.
Confessing your sin is a sort of cutting off of your hand. It is acknowledging the wickedness of your sin, and your admission that it is vile in Godâ€™s sight. It is you separating yourself from your sin. But the routine of confessing your sins (whether in your daily walk, or at a set point in the weekly liturgy) should not be taken as a permission slip to go out and get a new hand to facilitate your sin tomorrow. Jesus didnâ€™t say that if your hand causes you to sin cut it off but itâ€™s ok to go get a prosthetic replacement. He didnâ€™t say to pluck out your eye and then replace it with a robotically enhanced one.
So, confess your sin. Cut off anything which facilitates that sin you need to confess this morning. Delete that app. Leave that group of friends. Cut up your credit card. Unsubscribe from that streaming service. Donâ€™t go to that party. Donâ€™t hit the snooze button. In other words, make no provision for the fleshâ€¦kill it, mortify it, and triumph over it in the death and resurrection of Christ which enables you to be victorious over your sin.Â