The ABC’s of Wisdom: Building Character with Solomon - Purity
Staying Clean in a Dirty World
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call understanding your kinsman; they will keep you from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words.
Solomon felt so strongly about the dangers of sexual temptation that he devoted three chapters of Proverbs (5-7) to this subject. Three thousand years have passed and his words still ring true. How can we stay pure in a very dirty world? There are four decisions you must make.
First, you must purposely avoid lust-producing situations. This is an extremely personal matter. Each one must know his own limits. What produces lust in my life may bore you. What makes you think impure thoughts may put me to sleep. That’s why it’s hard to draw absolute limits. But there is a line you must not cross. Make sure you know where that line is for you-and then make sure you don’t cross it!
Second, you must purposely avoid provoking lust in other people. This is another very sensitive area. Sometimes we Christians act as if freedom in Christ means we no longer need to worry about how other people think or feel. But that’s not true. We have to be concerned about the way we dress, but purity in this area also involves our language and our casual physical contact. It even includes our facial language-the smile, the glance, the wink, the knowing look. The rule is simple: Don’t lead other people on! Don’t be a tease! Don’t be a flirt! Even if “nothing” happens, you have defrauded the other person.
Third, you must purposely choose purity. The decision to choose purity must be made in advance, based on a daily walk with God and grounded in a life of healthy activity.
So many people think Christianity is prudish. Far from it. Christianity is not prudish, but it is modest and clean. This week I ran across a striking sentence: “The way to clean out a stable is not with a shovel but with the Mississippi River.” Nothing will clean out the corners of your life like a commitment to a life filled with wholesome activity. When the “Dos” outweigh the “Don’ts,” you will begin to experience the joy of purity and the thrill of victory.
But you must make the choice! Not just once-but every single day-and often you must make the choice many times a day.
Fourth, you must be honest about your personal struggles. Lust is such a tricky matter that you will never win the victory on your own. Let me say that again: You will never win the victory over lust simply by praying by yourself. God never intended you to fight this battle alone.
Find a friend or a small group of friends and ask them to hold you accountable. Tell them you want them to ask you hard questions. Tell them not to let you off easily. Ask them to be tough enough so that you can’t get by with sin.
The temptation to sexual impurity is very real. A man would be a fool to deny it. But you can stay clean- even in this dirty world-if you are willing to pay the price.
Heavenly Father, purify my heart, so that I will be clean from the inside out. Amen.
Which one of the four decisions do you most need to make right now? Who do you need to tell about the decision you are making?
What does it mean to you to purposely choose purity?
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