About 3 years ago, my older sister was in town. Along with my younger sister, we went on a dinner/ movie date. We made a unanimous decision to see “The Wolf of Wall Street” (I know, I know). I honestly thought that it was going to be a regular comedy, con artist film; however, as you can imagine, I was horribly mistaken. As we were at dinner, we happened to mention to our waiter that we were going to watch it. He went on and on about how incredible it was. This, of course, made us even more excited to see it. We got into the theater and the movie began. All I can say is I spent one third of the time covering my eyes and the rest of the time inwardly cringing from the constant nonsensical use of expletives. I should have just gotten up and left!
After the movie, I was trying to explain my disdain for the film to my younger sister. She couldn’t understand my dislike for the film because she thought it was great. It was at that moment that something sparked in me. My eyes were opened as I began to wonder, “Is this the world we really live in?” Do we really live in a world that can watch something like “The Wolf of Wall Street” and can enjoy it without finding anything wrong with what was portrayed? I was so troubled. Now more than ever, purity is indeed a choice. And as you know, it’s not always a popular one. We are bombarded with sex so often that it can be easy to become desensitized to to the value of sex and purity. The beautiful thing that God created is being completely exploited by today’s society.
Purity is not only limited to sexuality, but also has very much to do with our thoughts. When I got saved 5 years ago, I was growing in my knowledge and love for God, but I still struggled with my purity. I wondered why I struggled with so many impure thoughts, but then I began to reflect about my lifestyle. Well for starters, I was still watching my favorite soap, General Hospital (need I say more?) and listening to music I had no business listening to (I loved me some 90’s R&B). So of course I was having impure thoughts! I was inviting things into my spirit that were impure and I realized I had to eliminate them. I cut out General Hospital and the music. I also cut out other things such as some reality shows (I was really into Bad Girls Club for some reason (embarrassing).
Now, all those things seemed really practical, right? Just stop watching TV and you’ll be good? Not at all! There is another component to purity, which is Jesus. You can’t have one (practicality) without the other (Jesus). Choosing purity is not solely about making choices about what we allow in our lives, but it’s also about choosing to allow God to do His work in us.
In the quest for a pure mind, I began to meditate on Philippians 4:8. As I began to meditate more and more scriptures about purity, I found that it was not a struggle for me anymore. I no longer spent time fantasizing; I spent time meditating on God’s Word. Filling myself with more of Him removed the lust that I had for other things. He gave us the tools to overcome purity! We have to use them!
Keys to Remaining Pure:
- Evaluate what you watch, read, and listen to. As I discussed earlier, I cut out some TV shows and I also became selective about my movie choices. If you are struggling with purity, reflect on your lifestyle and consider doing these things in your own life.
- Get a Word. When impure thoughts arise, have a Word ready to combat it. The thought can come, but you do not have to indulge it. Here are some of my favorites:
- Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy --think about such things. Philippians 4:8
- Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2
- I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11
- Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16
- Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:23
- Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2
- How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. Psalm 119:9
- We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5
3. Get accountability. Have someone you can trust to keep you accountable. James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed”. You have already been forgiven, but confessing to someone we trust brings healing. Don’t do life alone!