Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Purity Challenge Week Two

Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they shall see God.
~Matthew 5:8

This week of the Purity Challenge, Lexi wants us to examine what causes us to stray from purity and what brings impurity into our hearts: "This week I want you all to link up and post about things that make us not have a pure heart and talk about ways teens can encourage one another to stand up for the gift God has given us. Purity."

This topic is one I think many of us overlook. We so badly just want to be pure that we don't examine what it is that causes us to stray in the first place. So in what ways do we allow impurity to enter our hearts and souls? Immediately, covetousness comes to mind.
Want. When all we see is what we lack, whether it be a relationship, material things, or faith itself, we miss out on the joy God has planned for us NOW at this moment. God has love and blessings in store for us, but He grants them at His time and His time only. So why waste a single thought/worry over something you cannot control anyway?

Another quality that keeps us from purity, that also ties smoothly into covetousness, is our pride and our vanity. When we have these attributes (and we all have!) we begin to feel
entitled. God does not want this! In fact He commands us over and over to lower ourselves, become humble, and live like children (i.e thankful and content to be in a position of complete submission to authority)

Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
~Matthew 18:4
For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
~ Matthew 23:12

Who of us are more pure than little children? Children with all their innocence and their ability to simply love and help others with no strings attached? With purity comes selflessness. We should never expect anything and we should put others' wants and needs before our own (to a reasonable extent!). We need to live with a servant's heart because when we put ourselves in a service position, we've become like Christ Himself. Jesus came to our service...He had to do the "dirty work" so we could be reconciled with God. So abandon your vanity and pride! Quit the gossip, the slander, the "I'm better/worthier" attitude, and the anger you hold in your heart toward others. (But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. ~ Colossians 3:8) Your mission is not to advance you, it's to have a relationship with God and to love, forgive, and serve His lost sheep. It can be a struggle to humbly love and serve your neighbor sometimes, but that challenge is what pleases God, that internal struggle is what makes you different from everyone else. Anyone can mock, cheat, and hate, but it takes a strong faith and a truly pure and selfless heart to forgive and put your own hurt behind God's desire.

Purity is basically love in its truest form:
The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
~ 1 Timothy 1:5

A Pure heart exudes love...therefore anything that keeps us from loving others without fail keeps us in our impure state. To recap, this can be covetousness, vanity, pride, gossip, or slander. Believe it or not adultery (especially of the mind, Jesus says who ever looks upon a woman with lust is guilty of adultery of the heart) reveals our lack of love and our disrespect for our brothers and sisters in Christ (and anyone else for that matter!) It is a way in which we satiate our fleshly desires (which is essentially covetousness) without the promise of commitment.

To keep our minds, bodies, and souls pure, we need to learn self control. Control of our thoughts, of our tongues, and of our emotions. Being lax in our faith and thought-life can be dangerous as we all know how easily our mind can wander (especially us girls: "Look as her shirt, it's so ugly, etc") and when these thoughts and comments just start "slipping" we hurt others and just come off as mean spirited. That's the opposite of what we want and strive for as Christians, so let's join the battle and diligently keep our hearts in check.

Nichole Nordeman's song "Legacy" explains this lifestyle perfectly. We want to leave a loving and pure legacy behind us when we are called to God. How will you be remembered?

Peace & Blessings mes amis!


Katherine said...

Incredible post! Praise Him! This was really encouraging and edifying. Thanks!

Read my post on the purity challenge at

caraboska said...

So many problems are avoided - everything from impurity to doubts about salvation - when we are busy focusing on God and His goodness.

Lexi said...

wow!! amazing post once again Nikki! Great job!

Thanks so much again for joining in on the Purity Challenge! It has been a pleasure reading your posts of encouragement on this topic!