Updated: Nov 14, 2022
Philippians 4:8 says, "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." As a middle school student, I thought that because I am waiting to kiss someone until engagement I was as pure as pure can get. Psh, if I wasn't acting on such desires there is no way I had trouble with my thought life. Thinking upon whatever was pure was so easy...then I began to search what exactly that entailed. To many, purity is associated with lust and struggling with desiring the opposite gender outside of marriage. However, when searching the subject further it became clear that there is so much more to the word pure. The definition of pure states, "free of any contamination." The word contamination means, "the action or state of making or being made impure by polluting or poisoning." As you can see, those definitions are not what we automatically perceive. So if it is not the expected, what is this pure word all about?
First off, I found out very quickly that anything that comes before God in your life can create impurity. You may think God's first, you may even act like it, but are your emotions equal with what's going on in the head? A great mentor of mine always reminds me that there is six inch travel span from the head to the heart. The state of both your mind and emotions play a big role into gaining victory. As stated in "Think Upon: Right" it is all about the reason why we do what we do. What motivates us to live in victory? When we begin to choose right actions without the belief or acknowledgment of God, victory shall come and go like the wind. Yet, if God is at the forefront of every action it will be a lasting victory, which is what we are all striving for!
Living in a thought life of purity is ever so challenging. As soon as we begin to stop filtering each thought and emotion through God's word sin comes fast and furiously. It is only by the help of others that we can overcome the desire to act selfishly. They say, the first step to conquering any problem is admitting you have one. It takes a lot for me to admit I have an issue to myself but to involve someone else in this confession rarely happens. (I'd rather eat dog poop.) My second favorite thing to do in life is ask for forgiveness (said with GREAT sarcasm). But that is exactly what else God calls us to do. Confess to yourself/others then repent! However, as God has grown my heart I've learned the problem won't ever go away without help and forgiveness. Both from others and our Creator. The kicker is we must share and ask. Yes, we have to confess our ickiness and then be like, "Hey by the way I need your help in keeping me accountable not to be icky anymore," Life just stinks sometimes! Yet, it is ever so worth every uncomfortable sucky step! (Trust me, I've chosen both routes and wasted a lot of time being stubborn.)
The real issue when it comes to thinking upon purity is not the lustful thoughts, the ungodly desires, or the act of choosing God second. It is the sin of selfishness that leads us into impurity. If we chose to act in humility instead of living life alone, without Jesus and other believers, victory is attainable in every thought/emotion. I challenge you right now to contact someone, confess, and ask for help. A favorite pastor of mine says, "Confess. Repent. Pursue." Do it afraid!