Burn Your Bridges

Lou Lotz

READ : John 5:1-9

Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” (v. 8)

“Take your mat and walk,” said Jesus to the crippled man. Why “take your mat”? Why not just leave it there?

I like G. Campbell Morgan’s theory: “Jesus tells the man to take his mat so there will be no provision for a relapse.” The man might have said to himself, “Jesus says I’m healed, and maybe I am, but I had better leave my bed here at the pool side; I may need it tomorrow.” But Jesus says, in effect, “Don’t leave your mat here; you’re not coming back”

If we want to be healed, if we yearn to be changed, there must be no provision for a relapse. Go home and pour the alcohol down the drain. Find every cigarette in the house, pulverize it, and flush it down the toilet.

If you intend to lose weight, gather up your large waistline pants and throw them in the trash; you won’t be needing them ever again. Burn your bridges behind you.

Say good-bye to the friends who have been luring you into the behavior you want to quit. Publicly announce the new stand you have taken so that people will hold you accountable.

Don’t leave your mat at the side of the pool; you’re not coming back.


Lord, help me to make the change I want to make, once and for all.