Can I Cut Off my Sin Forever? – Matthew 5:30

I looked at the brown hair clippings lying in the sink, afraid to look in the mirror. At least, I reasoned, I feel more righteous now.

That morning I’d propped my books on my hip after class, weaving through the students in the social studies hall.¬†Ever mindful of my hair, I shook my head slightly to show it off its long waves. I didn’t think there was much attractive about my appearance, but I sure enjoyed the compliments I got on my hair.

Good pride / bad pride

It’s OK to be proud about some things, but at Tuesday night Bible study we learned about the kind of pride that dishonors God. The pride that lifts itself up above him. The voice that says we don’t need him. The pride that blinds us to our need of his righteousness, because we’re doing just fine on our own thank-you-very-much.

I was sure I didn’t have a pride issue. After all, I hated being the center of attention. Except, of course, if it involved someone noticing my hair.

That’s when I decided my opinion about my hair wasn’t a good kind of pride–and I had to take care of the problem. Note to self: Next time pray first.

“And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell” (Matthew 5:30 ESV).

That evening I found my mother’s sewing scissors and took them into the bathroom. Lifting my hair away from my shoulders, I chopped it off. Then I asked Mom to help me straighten it up in the back. I felt utterly shorn. When I examined the outcome in the mirror my pride evaporated, lickety-split.

The Results of the Pride Surgery

I couldn’t believe it when the very next day as I watched a girl with a crazy hair-do pass by, I boasted inwardly that I’m more humble than her.

Oh my goodness, I about dropped my notebook. I was proud of my humility! You’ve got to love the faithfulness of the Holy Spirit to reveal what’s true.

And the truth is this, there is no way I can keep myself free from the sin I get wrapped up in so easily. I need Jesus’ sacrifice to cover me every day. And I need to walk closely to him, listening to his voice, accepting that sometimes he’ll lead me to the cross so that what needs to die will be dealt with. I can’t remove it completely on my own.

“. . . let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus . . . who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV).

The moral of my story: Don’t be in a hurry to pick up a pair of scissors.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

Keeping on Track with my Writing – Hebrews 12:1-2

After attending the Oregon Christian Writers conference I knew I had the information I needed to keep my focus on the goal, but a phone call derailed my best intentions. To be honest, it wasn’t the caller or my phone’s fault I got off track. I did it to myself.

Discussing publishing and fiction with author Jane Kirkpatrick at Corvallis book signing
With author Jane Kirkpatrick

Why do I still listen to my cranky inner child that resists when I chose to go a new direction?  In the depths of me I believe developing my writing is the right path, but I end up running away. My goodness.

I came up with a plan to remedy that. I cut off my distractions, the activities that though they may be good and profitable and enjoyable, they’re not best for now.  I stuffed them in a box and put them in storage.

I don’t think the kid in me will even notice they’re gone.

“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus . . . ” .


Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV

I need to keep doing my homework, perfecting how I communicate. I’m a follower of Jesus, and I believe he is pleased with me working on my writing. It reminds me of Olympic runner Eric Liddell, who is quoted in Chariots of Fire as saying, “God made me fast, and when I run I feel his pleasure.” That’s what I feel when I write with my eyes fixed on Jesus.

Meanwhile, my inner child is on her way to the bedroom. She seriously needs a nap.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis