Pluck out your eye

“If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast if from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.” Matthew 5:29

There is a group of people who keep everything they own locked up in small mud rooms.  All of their possessions including shoes, clothes and radios are hidden from everyone.

I didn’t know this when I moved into the community to set up a health program for the people, I unpacked all my belongings. I put the dishes and pans in the cupboard, pens and notebooks in the desk, and linens in the closet.

My first visitors arrived and headed straight toward the cupboards. They opened doors and took out containers. After examining them, they put them back in the wrong place.

I was shocked by their rude behavior and  asked, “What are you looking for?”

“We’re not looking for anything. We want to know everything you have.”

“Why?”

“It’s our culture.”

A few days later I visited several church folks.  In the deacon’s house, I was surprised at the lack of possessions. He had four lopsided wooden benches and two broken-down chairs. On the opposite side of the living room was a door padlocked shut.

Having all sorts of visions of what was on the opposite side of the door, I kept glancing at it.

The deacon’s wife said, “I’m sorry I have nothing for you to examine.”

“I didn’t come here to inspect your property. Why do people in your village do this?”

“We are greedy and want what we shouldn’t have. If someone sees something that she doesn’t have and wants it, she may ask you for it. It is cultural to give it to her. So we keep all our possessions locked up in a room.  If no one sees what we have, no one will want it or ask for it. This also prevent thieves from stealing them.”  She shrugged. “If a thief doesn’t see anything to steal, he can’t steal.”

“If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast if from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.” Matthew 5:29

I don’t think we should keep everything we own locked up in a separate room to prevent people from wanting what we have.  Nor do I think we should pluck out our eyes if they lead us to temptation.  But perhaps we should seriously consider what tempts us and put those temptations out of sight.

 

 

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About celestecharlene

I served as a medical missionary in West Africa for thirty years treating the sick and establishing health clinics in rural neglected areas.
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One Response to Pluck out your eye

  1. Martin LaBar says:

    Now, that’s an interesting culture!

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