Do you suffer from Body Integrity Identification Disorder?
Why we need to cut off everything that causes sin.
You may have seen in the news lately an unusual story about David Openshaw who deliberately submerged his healthy foot in a bucket of dry ice for six hours, so that it could be amputated. David suffered from Body Integrity Identification Disorder, which caused him to believe that his foot was a foreign object that needed to be separated from the rest of his body.
This is a serious disease, and I in no way want to make fun of David or make light of his condition. However, when I was reading David’s story, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:27-30
27 "You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 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. 30 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.
It is not that Jesus wants us to literally cut off limbs. I don’t think gouging out eyes really stops you sinning. I can sin just as well with my eyes closed as with them open. Jesus is making a point, and he makes it pretty loud and clear.
These intense words from Christ teach us that we should never be comfortable with the sin in our lives. Sin is serious! And we should be prepared to go to serious, even extreme lengths to remove sin from our lives and bodies. We should be prepared to wield the axe at anything in our lives that is causing us to sin. We, a bit like David and his foot, should treat sin as a “foreign object” that we would do anything to get rid of.
And so, if your computer causes you to sin, get rid of it. If your TV causes you to sin, give it away. If having a boyfriend/girlfriend causes you to sin, break up. If going to parties causes you to sin, don’t go. If hanging around with a certain crowd causes you to sin, keep your distance. If going to the video store causes you to sin, don’t go.
This is big. You might have to make some big changes. But no matter how big a cut you have to make it will be worth it. You see, your eternal destiny, heaven or hell is at stake. It is better for you to lose your computer, TV, boyfriend/girlfriend and party scene than for your whole body to go into hell.
So don’t get comfortable with the sin in your life. See sin as a dangerous, foreign object, something to be separated from your body. Ask God to show you where you are sinful and pray for the strength to wield the axe.
It seems to me that God would be more glorified by us, his children, if we got more serious about removing the sin in our lives. If only a few more of us suffered from a Spiritual form of Body Integrity Identification Disorder. If only we were as committed to removing our sin, as David was in removing his foot.
Do you suffer from a spiritual form of Body Integrity Identification Disorder? For Jesus’ sake, and for your sake, I hope so.