Friday, July 19, 2013

The Purity Principle

I'm currently reading a book called The Purity Principle by Randy Alcorn for one of my classes in the fall. It is a great, brief book about fighting the temptation of sexual sin and how to go about that fight. It's a quick read, and though he has his cheesy one-liners at times, it has some SOLID points about ways to prevent falling into sexual temptation, or how to fight back if you're already in the midst of this sin. Two things have stood out to me so far from this book.

In one of the chapters he references Psalm 119:33-37 (specifically verse 37) as a way to battle any type of sexual temptation, and I love the verses so much that now I'm committing them to memory.

"33Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. 34Give me understanding that I may keep Your law and observe it with my whole heart. 
35Lead me in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it. 36Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! 
37Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in Your ways.

He suggests printing out verse 37 and putting in on the top of your TV and computer as a reminder to dwell on the truth and life that comes with the Lord, not the worthless images the world constantly throws at us. Alcorn states, "Lust is fed by whatever we've deposited in our brains that it can get its claws on. What's in our brains is what we've allowed in through our senses. The images and words in our minds must come either from specific things our eyes have seen and our ears have heard or an imaginative conglomerate of such input" (42). If we think the TV shows or movies we are watching, or the images we see on the Internet, are not having an effect on our minds, thoughts, and ability to fight sexual temptation--we are sadly mistaken.
This truth goes hand in hand with the next part of the book that put a pretty heavy conviction on me. ((Disclaimer-the next sentence is a little provocative, but has a good point!))

Alcorn-- "Suppose I said, 'There's a great-looking girl down the street. Let's go look through her window and watch her undress, then pose for us naked, from the waist up. Then this girl and her boyfriend will get in a car and have sex--let's listen and watch the windows steam up!' 
You'd be shocked. You'd think, What a pervert!
But suppose instead I said, 'Hey, come on over. Let's watch Titanic.'
Christians recommend this movie, church youth groups view it together, and many have shown it in their homes. Yet the movie contains precisely the scenes I described" (61).

He continues, "How does something shocking and shameful somehow become acceptable because we watch it through a television instead of a window? In terms of the lasting effects on our minds and morals, what's the difference?...Every day Christians across the country, including many church leaders, watch people undress through the window of television. We peek on people committing fornication and adultery, which our God calls an abomination. We've become voyeurs, Peeping Toms, entertained by sin" (62). 

Whew. Like I said, convicting. Mitchell's response to this when I read it aloud was, "Okay, so what does this do to our movie collection?" A grand question. Thus begins my process of weeding out some of the movies we have allowed into our home that aren't necessarily edifying for our minds. We have both been cautious of the type of media we allow to enter our minds, but this was a quick wake up call that we've still been compromising on things with the justification of "it's not that bad". I believe wholeheartedly that our minds are satan's number one target in regard to sin. We are called to wage war against the flesh using the divine power of His Word (2 Corinthians 10:3-5) and resisting satan, who prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:6-10).

And ladies, this goes for you just as much as it does the men reading this blog. For too long we have believed the lie that sexual temptation is just a "man's sin". Bull. We need to fight for purity just as much as they do--we need to turn our eyes when a provocative scene comes on the TV just as much as they do. We may not be as visually stimulated as men are, but we are still just as susceptible to sexual sin. So, do not read this as something your husband or boyfriend or brother needs to read. YOU read it. Ask the Lord where you need His sanctifying hand to intervene in your life. Fight for purity, sisters, in every area of your life. 
I hope this serves you the way it has served me. Ask yourself, "What TV shows, movies, books, internet sites, do I need to cut from my life? Am I dwelling on the ways of the Lord, or the worthless things of this world?" Perhaps these questions will spark a needed change in certain areas of your life.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." -Philippians 4:8

For more reading on this topic:
1. "Finding Freedom In a Sex Obsessed World" - Neil Anderson
2. "Who I am in Christ" - Neil Anderson
3. "Radical Womanhood" - Carolyn McCulley
4. "Girls Gone Wise" - Mary Kassian
5. "Lies Women Believe" - Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Just a few scriptures as references as well (I encourage you to look up others on your own, this is the number one way we can fight the lies of satan...the Word of God!):
Jonah 2:8
Deuteronomy 30: 19-20
Proverbs 5:20-23, 5:15-19
1 Corinthians 6:18-20
1 Thessalonians 4: 3-8
Galatians 6:7-9

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