Today's Gospel: Mark 9:41-50

In yesterday's reading, Jesus corrected His disciples for trying to stop someone from acting in His name to drive out demons. He says, "He who is not against us is for us." But in today's Gospel, Jesus qualifies His statement by reminding us that if we, who follow Him, lead those in our care to sin, it would be better to be thrown into the sea with a millstone around our necks.

I know I can act like a real expert in pointing out who deserves that millstone, but I know, too, that there are times in my life when I offer a less-than-stellar example for my own children. Times when I don't do laundry because I'm playing Words with Friends, times when I could be doing something productive like menu planning, but I'm busy re-tweeting another article online.

Jesus reminds us it's better to cut off our hand, should it cause us to sin, than to continue in sin and lead ourselves to Hell.

Of course, He is speaking metaphorically; no one expects us to chop off body parts. But I know there are things in my life that are occasions of sin, and these things must be eliminated or tamed so that I don't cut myself off from God. I know that if I get too involved with my online life, it can interfere with my real life; when I see that happening, that's when it's time for a break. Personally, I keep a #NoTwitterSunday just to keep that in place.


What things in your life are occasions of sin? If you can't get control over them by limiting them, is it time to cut those things out of your life?


Father in Heaven, help me see what is keeping me from giving good example to those little ones You've put in my care. Help me to cut out the things that might lead me or my little ones astray. Teach me to always lead people towards you, and never away.

Copyright 2014 Christine Johnson