After my last post you’re were either offended or intrigued by the thought of changing the way we think about purity and sin. Let me explain what I mean.
The Apostle Paul tries passionately to convince new believers that they are not made right with God by keeping a perfect record (Rom. 3:21-23, Phil 3:9, Gal 2:16). He states that we are made right with God by simply accepting Christ’s sacrifice for us as the adequate payment for our wrongdoings (past, present, and future). Be clear that neither he, nor I, are saying that you should just do whatever twirls your carousel. On the contrary, we still do the things that the law instructs, but not because we are cut off and defiled before God if we don’t.
As believers in Christ, that’s not to be our driving motivation for living a pure life. We live a pure life because it’s part of the character of Jesus that we want to develop in our lives.
So here’s how it works: Jesus makes us right with God by his sacrifice. That makes us pure in the “spiritual” sense. Then he gives us his Holy Spirit to help us develop a habit of purity in our daily lives. We then make daily decisions that determine the development of our character.
As long as we are focused on “not sinning”, we’ll keep circling back to the things we don’t want to do. I learned, from my dad, the saying ,“where the head goes, the body will follow”. Experts tell us that the best way to break a habit is not to focus on breaking it, but to replace it with a different one. So if you’ve got a bad habit like pornography, sexual promiscuity, fantasizing, etc., then the only way to break that habit is to develop a habit of purity.
For a few years, I’ve been making notes of the things that help to cultivate purity and faithfulness in my life. Here are a few things from my list:
- Write down one thing a day about my wife that I love
- Brag about her to other people, especially women
- Shut down all visual media at 11 pm every night at the latest
- Go to bed with my wife
- Be honest with her about everything
- Develop close friendships that I can be truthful about my life with
- Keep myself from being in private with someone of the opposite sex
- Invite my wife into every relationship I have with a girl
- Talk candidly about sex with my wife
- Study Song of Solomon for a godly perspective on sex and relationships
- Limit my TV time
- Learn to “bounce” my attention from temptation instead of meditating on how bad it is and that I shouldn’t look at it
There are plenty more things you can do, but the point is, purity isn’t something you protect from being destroyed. It’s something you cultivate and care for. Make it your quest to cultivate purity.
I’d love to hear some of your habits that help to cultivate purity in your life.