Friday, May 30, 2014

Is Being Pure Even a Possibility in Our Society?



Why bother?

In today's world, isn't remaining pure nearly impossible?  How can God possibly expect us to not go the way of the culture with perversity becoming increasingly rampant through various venues, entertainment, conversations among those at work or school around us, and even Facebook posts by those we know or follow being anything but God-pleasing?  People might object, "Isn't it unrealistic to think that a Christian can walk in abstinence, obedience to God's word, and in a manner worthy of Him when sin abounds everywhere?"

While the above statements are evidently a struggle in today's culture and society, I really believe as Christians, we are too often guilty of using such to justify our sins of choice and make excuses for indulging in the acts, speech, or consumption of entertainment the world so freely delights in instead of devouring God's word and praying to Him from an earnest heart to show us our deeply rooted strongholds, how to repent, and pleading with Him to guide us in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.

Instead of using an accountability report and filtering service like Covenant Eyes on our computers (and all devices for that matter!), we choose to leave our temptation to view pornography to chance and assume we have everything under control just because we only view these images or videos every now and then, which must mean therefore, that it isn't wrong if we basically "have it under control."

Yet readers, may I kindly and humbly propose that with every time we choose to give in to such entertainment (no matter the reason and no matter the frequency) we are hardening our hearts toward God's clear call for purity in a believer's life, as well as enabling masturbation to become a very real struggle?  Viewing porn causes us to believe that we are entitled to whatever sexual acts we find pleasing whenever we desire them...all by the simple click of a button and the convenience of self-gratification.  It blinds us to how destructive sin is and we do not weigh the consequences that may very well take place because we are only focused on what is going on at the moment.

I know for me, using the excuse "Just one more time!" is never a reality.  This phrase becomes an enabler to sin, a slippery slope, and the path to compromise with other sin (like the longing to spend hours indulging in porn consumption and sex being almost constantly on my mind, which makes the desire to engage in masturbation more likely).  Depending on what I have allowed myself to dwell on, watch, listen to, fantasize about, or engage in, my choice to intentionally sin corrupts my mind and judgment, stirs up anger in my heart if I can't have my way, and even leads to other issues like a poor self-esteem, comparing myself to others, and sometimes engaging in self-mutilation to a degree because of my sadness, disappointment, and the bondage just one more time always tends to bring.  I have learned too many a time just how fleeting the pleasures of sin really are, the bondage it brings not being worth the momentary enjoyment, and the emptiness I feel after I have been giving in being overwhelming.  Not to mention feeling like God is a million miles away and my disobedience to Him preventing Him from blessing me in certain ways (Psalm 84: 11).

Let's be wise and ponder all that keeps us from growing in our walk with the Lord and everything we can change from now on that will propel us toward further godliness and no longer be a stumbling block we make excuses for to keep giving into.  Let's pray that God would show us our blind spots and open our eyes to the excuses we give for not fully repenting.  And let's ask God to show us simple (yet greatly beneficial) steps we can take to remain pure before Him - even in a world filled with filth and shifting opinions of morality and what is considered right or wrong.

A few helpful steps we can begin taking might include:

  • If watching TV lessens your desire for the things of God and stirs up lust in your heart, stop your intake of it.
  • If your boss or secretary flirt with you at work, be bold in your speech with letting them know where you stand with God and as flattered as you might be by their attention, it is inappropriate and doesn't display a proper work ethic.
  • If going to particular restaurants entices you to drink, make food at home or go somewhere else.
  • If going out with your guy or girl friends once a week has been a bad influence on you, be honest and decline the invitation.
  • If the magazines your wife receives by mail causes you to stumble, let her know.
  • If your favorite music artists (their latest CD or music videos) keeps you in a perpetual state of impurity and has a sinful influence on your thoughts and desires, choose daily to no longer waste time with the entertainment they make.

- What is on your list?
- What steps can you take to better ensure spiritual vitality and genuine repentance?
- What are you willing to stop doing and start doing each day?
- What necessary changes in your day to day life have you already thought of making to live in a manner more worthy of the Lord?


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