“Therefore, since we have these promises, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting ourselves out of reverence for God.” ~2 Corinthians 7:1
I think I have been living under the allusion that my thoughts, just because no one knows them, aren’t sinful, therefore, aren’t dangerous.This is ironic because I spent a lot of my life struggling with thoughts of fear and doubt; I learned full well those thoughts were against God’s will and wrong, so why have I been convincing myself that I can entertain any polluted thought I want, just because I’m not acting it out?
The Bible states, “For as a man thinks in his heart, so he is.” (Proverbs 23:7) I have been compromising myself with sin, believing it won’t effect me so long as I keep it with in a certain fence of my life. But sin doesn’t work that way. You can’t just tell it to sit in this one area of your life and expect it to listen. When I was in elementary school, maybe even kindergarden, I had a sunday school teacher explain this with two glasses of water. She had clean water and dirty water in two separate cups. The clean water represented holiness, and the dirty water sin. When she poured the dirty water in the clean water, do you think it just sat at the top? Or that it maybe went to the bottom, and left the rest of the water clean? Of course it didn’t! It contaminated the whole glass. I’m polluting my mind when I allow it to think on wrong thoughts, desires, and perspectives, and those thoughts overflow into my life, the way I treat people, the way I let people treat me, and the way I treat myself.
The verse I opened up with has really spoke to me recently. It hit right at home and convicted me. I have to deny my fleshly side, earthly thoughts, and tainted views. I have to deny myself the chance to ponder and give life to flesh driven thoughts in my mind. Because when I allow myself to think these things, I become numb to them, and they easily become a reality, not merely a thought.
The world offers a counter fit idea of what is acceptable, and if I am not careful, I am going to believe them. I have to keep my mind on what the Bible says is right, so when I am offered a alternative option, I will recognize it has false, and be able to deny it.
We do this not only for ourselves, to keep us from falling into dangerous sin, but we do it out of respect and honor for God. Though we may not always want to do what is right, I believe if we are sincere about our relationship with God we will always want to please God. That desire to please Him, to honor Him, and serve Him, is what motivates us to deny our sinful desires and seek the things He instrucst us to, laying aside what the world tells us to seek.
I’m not saying it is easy. Among TV, music, co-workers, and classmates, we are given so many suggestions about what is “ok”. We are surrounded by the course language, perverted humor, and inappropriate behavior. How could our minds not think in a polluted way? I know, trust me, I know. We must train our minds though. If we don’t, we are going to convince ourselves these behaviors are right, even when we know they aren’t.
“Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things.” ~Philippians 4:8