By Chanale Propst

Purity. A word that we have ripped and stretched to conform to our lives, no longer has its shape. It has been molded to fit the comfort of our actions. No longer do we adjust to its standards, but we take matters into our own hands and maneuver around edges and boundaries, ensuring that we are close yet still far away.

I had been there, shaping and conforming purity to how I wanted it to be defined. Judging my actions to those on television, and believing that no one followed biblical rules that were established over 2000 years ago, I mean its 2013 (2011 at the time)! I began to convince myself that those rules were meant to evolve and transform to fit our world today… Some things you just don’t see until you take a step back and focus, wake up with that hangover-like mentality (what did I do?!), or you stop doing YOU… and realize that you should be doing what God wants you to do. I thank God that all three happened to me. Although I wished I could have realized that my definition wasn't the one that I should have been following before I put it to use, I now recognize that his definition was created to bring me closer. A pure life closes the gap, and it gives me the opportunity to ultimately be more like God and have an intimate relationship with him. I need to be close to him, and leading an impure life is like holding God’s hand while you are on one side of the fence and he is on the other.

Webster defines purity as unmixed with any other matter, being this and no other, and free from what vitiates, weakens, or pollutes. We cannot get as close as God would like for us to because of the pollution and ‘mixed matter’ that we bring into our lives. It weakens us and pulls us further away from where we should be. However, purity is the sledgehammer that destroys the fence that separates us from our father, and brings us closer to him. Although it is 2013, we must still abide by the rules that our Heavenly Father has set. No matter what the television says about a 3-month rule, or what songs say about feeding into the urge of “getting some” outside of marriage, we will NEVER grow out of his rules, or get to a point to where we can advance to where we can create our own.

Psalm 119:9 says, “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word”

Leading a pure life begins by first following God’s word. It is his word that gives us the guidelines for purity. Without those guidelines our own definition will be formed, quickly causing a tear in our relationship with God. His word tells us that we must purify ourselves from EVERYTHING that contaminates body and spirit (2 Corinthians 7:1). This verse brings into focus that purity does not only relate to sexual purity (before marriage), but it covers our thoughts, actions, and words. We must constantly ask ourselves are we walking in purity, and are we aligning to God’s Word and not our own.

Mark 7:15 says, “What goes out of a man defiles him.” We must choose to produce actions, thoughts, and words that glorify God, and break loose from the holds of our surroundings. By exercising self-control (a fruit of the spirit that dwells within us) we can choose not to curse, not to have an attitude, and not to engage in sexual activity before marriage. So often we give into our feelings and let our emotions take control. I have been guilty of saying, “I can’t help it”; which is always a bold face lie. I could help it; I just didn’t choose to do so at the time. Just because we feel a certain way doesn’t mean that we have to act on it. Forcing our emotions to take a back seat is tough, and we can’t do it using our own strength. We must admit that we’re having trouble and ask God to help us through. If we desire growth and a relationship with God we will be willing to set some things to the side.

Take a look at your definition today. Has it changed or been rearranged to integrate the views of this world, or your own actions? God wants so much for his light to radiate though us, and not be dimmed by “mixed matter”. Let us fall back on his word and enjoy the beauties of a pure life. Know that it’s going to be tough, and you won’t always get your way...but it will most definitely be worth it.

Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me