What is the point of purity?

The word “purity” tends to bring to mind a blank canvas free of blemish or a filtered glass of water poured directly out of a Brita pitcher. We tend to call things “impure” that contain non-natural substances that either distort a substance’s original taste or distort an image from being viewed in its original form.

However, what if “purity” was actually something different from what we may originally thought? What if “purity” was obtained by adding something instead of viewing purity as something obtained by merely removing everything? I contend purity is obtained by doing both, adding and removing. Adding to our lives an intense desire to know Jesus and removing any distraction that thwarts our attention to achieve anything else.

Hebrews 12:1-2 says: “…let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith…”

God commands two actions, “strip off” and “run.” The motivating passion behind a person’s desire to avoid distraction (sin/temptation) is their overwhelming desire to know Jesus! To seek to avoid sin and temptation without a desire to know Jesus leads to self-righteousness, and to seek the Lord without removing sin and temptation leads to stagnation. Trying to know Jesus and experience His joy and fulfillment without, simultaneously, trying to remove sin and temptation is like peddling a bike with the brakes on.

Check out another example of this two-part path to purity the apostle Paul gives young Timothy:

2 Timothy 2: 22: “Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace.”

In your groups, split your time discussing both actions. 1) Ways to know Jesus 2) Distractions that suck our time and energy. One of Satan’s biggest tools to keep us from experiencing Jesus is not to make us bad, but to make us busy.

So, eliminating distraction may look like the following:

  • Deleting your Instagram app for a week.
  • Blocking time-wasting websites (ESPN, News, YouTube).
  • Not taking your phone to bed.

And adding actions that help us know Jesus may look like the following:

  • Start a Bible reading plan on YouVersion app
  • Kneel next to your bed and pray for 3 minutes before going to sleep
  • Stopping for 30 seconds sometime before the school day starts and pray.
  • Sit in silence for 1 minute and think about Jesus.
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