I generally gloss over this teaching and chuckle when thinking of Origen who took it literally.
Yet when I go beyond the literal and consider what I covet, crave, desire, I need to check myself—asking if what I crave is in keeping with God’s ways,
I frequently come to a painful stop realizing it is not.
Still, I want that what I want, and the subsequent attempt to overcome that wanting can be a challenge.
Peterson in The Message captures the sentiment quite well: “Let’s not pretend this is easier than it really is. If you want to live a morally pure life, here’s what you have to do: You have to blind your right eye the moment you catch it in a lustful leer.”
Think of those overcoming the craving for pornography, for substance addiction, for materialism and their pain.
Yes, blinding oneself to craving at the outset can be painful, but is it not better to live without and in God’s grace, than with and deprived of his grace?
The Reverend Deacon Heino Claessens
, St. Albans Glen Williams.