“You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. So if your eye—even your good eye—causes you to lust, 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 hand—even your stronger 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 be thrown into hell.
Matthew 5:27-30 (NLT)
The Latin saying "pars pro toto" (the part stands for the whole) applies here. It simply means that even the smallest part of a larger entity represents the whole entity.
We elect representatives to Congress. They are supposed to represent (as a part of us) the whole district.
The mind is one part of the total body....but it represents the whole body, connected by nerves, blood, flesh and bone.
In just the same way, Jesus says that the lust of the mind (pars) is as real as the acts of the entire body (toto). You cannot separate the two.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed by the Nazis because of his testimony. He said, "When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die." To die to self means we should view sin so seriously, as to prefer to lose an eye or hand, rather than disappoint the Master.
When it comes to adultery (in Greek, literally "marriage-breaking"), we are to be one in mind and body - rejecting the way of the world, and being obedient in self-denial. We are called to responsible living in the area of our sexuality and fidelity, whether married or single.
For You, Today…
Even the smallest thought that differs from the mind of Christ can tear the pars from the toto in the body of Christ.
Be careful to walk in toto today…strengthen the body; be a strong part!