Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy a few years ago in a pre-emptive move to avoid breast cancer. Recently, she has undergone more preventative surgery, having her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed in hopes of reducing her risk of cancer. Jolie has revealed that she carries a gene that puts her at a high risk for these types of cancer. She wants to do everything she can to avoid this terrible disease that could take away her life.
Jesus says that we should be willing to take drastic measures to prevent the disease of sin from destroying us spiritually. He says, “If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” (Matthew 5:29-30).
Jesus is obviously exaggerating for effect here. He doesn’t literally suggest that self-mutilation is a good option to prevent sin. However, he is making the point that we should be ruthless in doing whatever it takes to avoid sin. It might mean severing a relationship, giving up a bad habit, re-directing your thought processes or having a complete change of attitude.
Maybe now is the time for you to do some spiritual preventative surgery.