One of the more tougher subjects is the purity of the mind.
“And everyone who thus hopes in Him, purifies himself as He is pure.” 1 John 3:3
Especially today it is incredibly hard to keep ourselves pure in our thought lives. Everywhere we look there is something tempting us to take a peek out of curiosity, satisfy that sexual desire, and before you know it, the mind is riddled with dirty thoughts, words pictures and even encourages us to physically act it out in some way. Often times that includes masturbation and or sex with someone.
Purity of mind is not an easy choice and takes practice. If you need to take a cold shower for the first few times to regain self-control, then go and take that cold shower!
“To the pure all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.” Titus 1:15
Sometimes purity is robbed from us -without our own choice being involved. I remember when I was about 20 years old, I accidently ran into a friend’s porn material. Unfortunately, I saw full blown, hard-core porn that day for the first time in my life, which left me shocked for a day or two, but the door to adultery had been opened. For more than a year I struggled with impure thoughts, adulterous thoughts, and had a hard time choosing between purity and porn and masturbation. My whole life I had been pure and never had a problem saying no, up until that day. Thanks to some counselling and pastoral help about 2 years ago, I have been able to get my mind back on track with purity. But it was a very difficult process to work through.
Often times, if you take some time to ask people how they became involved in pornography, masturbation, etc., you will find that the majority of these people accidently found a friend or parent or sibling’s porn stash, or someone pushed pornographic material into their hands and introduced it to them. If you go and talk to paedophiles, rapists, murderers etc., you will discover that their stories are the same – they accidently discovered it as children or were introduced or forced into it in the teenage years. Everyone started out innocently, but the devil will find a way to destroy that innocence and purity.
I had to learn that I did not have to be ashamed about what happened when I discovered my friend’s stash. But I still have a choice as to whether I am going to act on it and keep feeding my curiosity, or I can choose to go to ask and pray for a pure mind and have my mind renewed by the Word of God (Bible). Sex and pornographic material is not easy to say no to, especially since God created sex for pleasure and made us sexual beings. Men, for example are wired to think about sex very regularly throughout the day. It is what we do with those desires that can have a positive or negative influence on our lives.
Choose to avoid adultery and impure thoughts. Whenever those thoughts or feelings come up, say no! Take a cold shower. Read your Bible. Above all, do not sit around alone in silence trying to defeat this in your own strength. Find a trustworthy, mature Christian leader, pastor or counsellor whom you can be accountable to and ask them to pray with you and to remind you to choose purity.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8
Throw away your porn magazines, delete those files from your cellphone and computers and tablets. Ask your trusted person to whom you’re accountable to help you clean out those things so that you don’t get tempted to go through those materials again and feel tempted to keep them.
Throw away any music, books and posters that makes dirty comments and does not respect the human body and contains sexual content. If it means that your house is empty because you have no more music and books left after having thrown away and deleted everything, then so be it! That is a good thing, because it means you are cleaning up your life and making space for purity and for God. Whenever you have money again, go and buy books on purity and abstaining from sex until marriage. Buy Christian music that glorifies God and celebrates Christ’s gift of salvation. Buy an audio Bible to listen to in the car or on your iPod. Open your bedroom curtains and doors – don’t sit in the darkness; where there is darkness and where there is hiding, temptation will lurk at your door and take hold of you.
“I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?” Job 31:1
“Create in me a clean heart, o God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
Make a choice to change. Choose purity. Learn to have a pure mind again.
When praying for yourself and your future spouse, pray that God will protect your hearts and minds from impure thoughts and adulterous ways. Pray that He will guide on a path of righteousness and holiness. Ask for strength and courage to say no and to choose what is right.
I pray for you, my precious reader and friend, that God will protect you mind. I pray that you will not be afraid of the future. May God renew your mind and fill your life with understanding of His never-ending perfect love. May God guide you to a place of peace and purity and joy. May you know His precious grace and experience His joy. I pray that God will give you the courage and the strength to let go of the things that is destructive in your life and that you will be able to choose purity over adultery and sexual immorality. I trust that God will be your shield and that no more temptation will cross your path.
In Jesus’ precious name I pray, Amen.