Posted by: thepulse | Debunked No Comments on Purity: Debunked
The word ‘purity’ encompasses a host of different meanings for different people. Some take it specifically to regard sexual purity while others think of purity as a lifestyle, with sexual purity being one of many aspects. The simplest way to define purity is “Striving daily to live according to God’s standards through God’s power”. Regardless of our age, race, educational background, gender or marital status; the battle for purity is one we all fight. So how do we, as young people, keep ‘fighting the good fight’ in a culture that is constantly overstepping biblical boundaries? We start by knowing the truth, and by living according to that truth.
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”John 8:32 (NIV)
“In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:17 (NIVUK)
Yet, this truth can also be skewed by our flesh leading to compromises that make the fight for purity much harder than it needs to be! Having spoken to a few students about this, we can debunk some of those “compromises and myths” that are so prevalent in our generation. Here are a few of them:
I’m pure as long as I don’t engage in sexual activity
Simply put, this is a lie. Today, we have the ‘try before you buy’ camp and the ‘everything else is okay except actual sex’ camp. Both are wrong. We often associate sexual purity to be relevant only for those in a romantic relationship; but it actually applies to all of us. Its about the books we read, the movies we watch, the music we listen to and the thoughts we entertain. We cannot claim to be sexually pure because of our abstinence if we ‘unwind’ by watching movies like 50 Shades of Grey.
“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity” Ephesians 5:3a (NIVUK)
What I watch or listen to doesn’t affect my purity, it’s just entertainment
Indulging in certain shows and media is like willingly walking across a minefield and hoping for the best whilst ignoring the alternative, much safer route. We convince ourselves that God is happy as long as we fast-forward through the ‘bad bits’. As believers we must treat the media as a minefield and navigate through it with caution.
“Abstain from all appearance of evil” 1 Thessalonians 5:22 (KJV)
I’m pure as long as I don’t swear
Purity extends to every aspect of our lives including our daily conversations. In church, we open our mouths and lift our hands to praise God yet we curse and gossip with the same mouth. How can we lift up holy hands if we are still captive to our flesh? We are a product of our experiences and a huge part of those experiences comes from the people that we hang around. Consider your current friendship groups; are you influencing them or are they influencing you?
“Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving” Ephesians 5:4 (NIVUK)
Purity is impossible
This is both true and false. It is true that we can live pure lives; it is false that we can do it alone. How often have we relied on our own strength and fallen flat on our faces? The good news is that we are not on our own. Jesus identifies with us; He knows our weaknesses. We are not called to rely on our own strength, we are called to walk in His.
“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.”
Galatians 5:16 (NLT)
We have lost the true concept of ‘walking in purity’ and replaced it with lies. The ‘things’ we now believe are twisted versions of the truth. We are in a spiritual danger zone. Truth is not difficult to find, and it certainly cannot be redefined. The problem simply lies in our willingness to accept this truth.
3 ways to pursue purity
In our relationships
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law”
Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
We must evaluate every relationship in our lives keeping in mind that we are only doing ourselves harm by seeking gratification in relationships that do not please God. We need to pray for daily discernment and wisdom to help us set healthy boundaries in our relationships and flee from anyone who will lead us to an impure life.
In our inner self
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you and lead me along the path of everlasting life”
Psalm 139: 23-24 (NIVUK)
We must decide each day to choose God’s will over our selfish desires; asking the Holy Spirit for strength and courage to trust Him to meet our needs and allowing Him to transform our thinking. We must remember that our body is a temple and treat it as such; and that our eyes are the window to our souls therefore we must carefully guard what we allow into our minds.
In our faith
“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure”
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIVUK)
The more we put our trust in God, the easier it is for us to walk in purity. If we aim to live pure lives simply by our own efforts; failure is inevitable. We must first acknowledge our need for the Holy Spirit and ask Him to remind us of the victory we have in Christ over temptation. The world tells us that we are alone in our struggles; the bible tells us that we are not.
“God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God”
Matthew 5:8 (NIVUK)