Recently I’ve wrote about how Godly men show up on time and using our time effectively as well as how a Godly man does not gossip or slander. These have been inspired by me pondering what it means to be a Godly man and how our society doesn’t produce this.
I’ve been challenged by Micah 6:8 and God saying that we are to “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God”, so I’ve been looking at ways this plays out practically in our lives. Now I wanna get extra real and address something that seems to be the most common struggle in the Christian lifestyle for young men – purity.
Whoa, easy there, I didn’t say sexual purity (although I will mention that a little bit). In this section we are going to address purity of the mind and heart. By addressing these two aspects, it will have a direct impact on our sexual purity.
By Being Pure In Heart You Will see God (And In More Ways Than You Ever Expect
Now, I know you’re thinking, “Dude, I’ve heard this purity stuff a thousand times, quit nagging me!”
Well it wouldn’t be in scripture if it wasn’t important to God. I’m talking about more than just sexual purity here, folks.
Spiritual purity comes from God; things like life-giving words, extending grace, being joyful in situations where you “can’t see God” are all examples of a pure heart. And, just remember what Jesus told us in Matthew 5:8.
When you open your mouth, what are people seeing? Are they seeing wisdom from God, or the foolishness of men?
In Matthew 12:34-35 we see that the overflow of what is stored in our hearts is what people will see.
You can’t bring anything pure and Godly out of a heart that is corrupt–full of bitter envy and selfish ambition.
Before we came to Christ and let him start changing us, our hearts were impure and against God. They have been ever since The Fall. It’s been inherited from Adam and Eve.
In Matthew 12:34-35, even though Jesus is talking to the Pharisees, he calls them a “brood of evil vipers” and says, “how can you who are evil say anything good?”.
He directly calls them evil, now granted he knew what they were thinking and the context may be different, but I also know we each have a little bit of the Pharisee attitude in us to some point and if you say “no, I don’t”…you might wanna do a quick heart check.
In Proverbs 4:23, we’re told to “guard our heart…” for a reason! The only way we can bring ANY good out of us, is by filling our heart with good. By watching what you “consume” you can better monitor this.
“So, Anthony are you saying that I’m supposed to sell my TV, XBox, Computer and iPhone, and just sit in my house reading my Bible all day, everyday until Jesus comes back?” Not exactly–but if you struggle with keeping your heart pure and are easily influenced by what society is feeding you, then maybe getting rid of some of those things isn’t a bad idea.
What I AM saying is that you should really be careful of what you are allowing to impact you. Social media, movies, music, magazines and advertisements can and–if given the opportunity–will set you up for failure.
I’m not saying get rid of everything, merely just saying that you need to be careful of what’s playing on your screens, what you’re listening to and how often.
Remember, God doesn’t want you to have a religiosity towards him, full of “do this, don’t do that” rules; he wants an intimate relationship with you.
Yes: read your Bible.
Yes: study books about improving your walk with God.
And yes; transform the way you live, talk, think, and interact with people.
Those are all outward expressions of an inward change. If there’s no change in the way your life looks, I doubt there’s much of a change in your heart.
A Pure Heart Is Also A Sign of Maturity
Just because you’re old enough to shave, it doesn’t make you a man. Yep, I just said it. I’m not saying I am better than you, by NO MAEANS am I saying that. When we were younger, we, as men, used to cause mischief and do things that would either: 1.) Hurt us, or 2.) get us in trouble–if not both.
Reaching for some form of identity that is of this world. Things that would cause us and others to stumble, things that would now (if you’re a believer) make you ask “is this holy?”
I know for me, a lot of the times it isn’t holy. I look back on some of the things I’ve done and cringe at what I used to do. I let it corrupt my heart, make me bitter, and make me feel… bleh.
Purity is something that we need to constantly work at, constantly improve, and constantly protect.
Check out, 2 Timothy 2:22 The term “Flee” literally means to run away from. “Pursue” is a verb and in this context doesn’t have a point at which you are to stop pursuing.
Don’t allow yourself to be drawn in by things that are not of God. They come from an immature and unwise heart. Proverbs tells us that “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…”
Don’t stop pursuing maturity, adulthood, growth and wisdom.
How can we better ourselves in all aspects of purity?
Especially, if we are talking about sexual purity. Well, Matthew 5:28-30 has some good ideas. I’m kidding. But for real, if you can’t respect or get help from your brothers like in 1 Peter 2:16-17 by doing as James 5:16 says then I would seek some help.
The “brotherhood of believers” and “prayers of a righteous person” can do so much for your purity, especially if you’re open and honest with each other.
If there are any ladies reading this, seek your sisters.
This is what the Church is for! The Church is not a building made out of brick, sheet metal, wood and windows. The Church has been made out of the sacrifice of Christ. The Church is made up of broken people who need Jesus.
Each person represents the body, and we need to be supporting each other.
Remember, you are not alone in the struggle; and NOBODY is seen as more righteous than another.
Be humbled, seek help and seek TO help. A house divided against itself cannot stand. Don’t tear each other down, build each other up!