Purity is important. But seeking purity in this world seems like you are swimming against the tide of popular opinion. So, even if you could achieve it, is purity something you can maintain in this life?
Yes, purity is possible. Here are some key elements to consider in your fight for purity.
We are not pure people by nature. And not only do we have impure actions: our impure actions proceed from our impure hearts. When our first parents Adam and Eve sinned against God’s command, they brought evil and death into the world. Since then, we have all inherited their sinful, rebellious hearts, which taint all our actions.
Once you clean the inside, then you can clean the outside.
Striving for pure behavior without a pure heart is like cleaning only the outside of a dirty dish: the inside is where the mess is! Once you clean the inside, then you can clean the outside.
You need a heart change, and this is God’s work through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Essential purity is possible only by admitting your rebellion against God’s will and seeking forgiveness by faith in Christ.
Indeed, this is the heart of the matter: having a heart that fears and loves God and wants to do the things that bring Him glory. Far from having a rebellious heart that dishonors the one true God, Christians want to please Him and bring no reproach upon His name through their conduct.
This is the heart of the matter: having a heart that fears and loves God.
How do you know what pleases God? The ancient psalmist said it this way, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word” (Psalm 119:9). By meditating upon His Word, you can know what God loves and what God hates. Keeping God’s word means that you know it, think about it, and obey it.
By drawing near to God through His Son Jesus and in obedience to His Word, you humble yourself and walk in the strength of the Holy Spirit. You are not strong, wise, or godly enough to pursue purity on your own. Pure living follows purity of heart, and this is only possible with God’s help.
Self-control helps your progress toward purity. Once you have exchanged your rebellious heart for a heart that desires to honor God, you still must guard your heart to cultivate virtue. Wise King Solomon warned his son, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23).
Apply maximum effort to attain and maintain your innocence.
By orienting your life toward purity, you should no longer feed impure desires. Abstain from tempting influences, which might involve breaking off relationships, getting rid of unhealthy material, changing jobs, and more. Set limits on your behavior and have an escape plan to avoid indulging in what you know is wrong.
Your wants determine what you say and do, so examine what you desire. Do you love what God loves and hate what God hates? Do you wish for purity throughout your life? Then apply maximum effort to attain and maintain your innocence. This endeavor is not something to be taken lightly or carelessly. Strive toward what is pure and good and flee from what is not.
Just as you need God’s power in your life, you also need a supportive community around you to help you toward purity. Being alone—whether on a device, late at night, or other tempting situations—can easily lead to making poor choices. When you know someone is watching, you tend to make better decisions.
Share your commitment to purity with those you trust so you can benefit from their help.
Share your commitment to purity with those you trust so you can benefit from their help. King Solomon says, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up” (Ecclesiastes 7:9–10).
Realize the benefits others can provide. When you are on your device, be visible, remove secrecy, and avoid isolation by using accountability software to share device usage with an accountability partner. These reports can inspire helpful conversations about your choices and spur you toward the good.
Striving for purity is worth the effort. You will never be perfect in this life, but you can grow. You can find joy in the fight for purity through little and big victories.
You are not where you could be. You have not arrived. Measure yourself against Christ and see how far you have yet to go to be like Him. As you labor toward pure living, you confirm the work God is doing in your life to make you more like His Son. Persevere in these things and keep moving toward purity.