November 20th

Safeguarding Purity

“1 I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O LORD , I will sing praise. 2 I will be careful to lead a blameless life- when will you come to me? I will walk in my house with blameless heart. 3 I will set before my eyes no vile thing. The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me. 4 Men of perverse heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with evil. 5 Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure.  6 My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he whose walk is blameless will minister to me. 7 No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence. 8 Every morning I will put to silence all the wicked in the land; I will cut off every evildoer from the city of the LORD.” Psalm 101 NIV 

Psalm 101 was written by King David and it was intended as a king’s pledge to reign righteously.  As I read this psalm, I saw a parallel application of it as a pledge for safeguarding purity.  The road to freedom is so much more than simply stopping the “acting out” of sex addiction.  It requires that we take steps to shut down the potential trigger paths that could lead us back into acting out.  Since we live in a pornographic society, we must be vigilant and almost militant in protecting our minds, eyes and ears from the corruption of the world.  Granted, we can’t escape from the world, but we can greatly reduce the amount of negative input from the world by the choices we make. 

David begins the psalm with reference to praising the Lord.  Praise and worship of the Lord form the foundation of the life that we live for the Lord.   When truly love the Lord, everything we do should reflect our reverence, appreciation and allegiance to our Master.  Our home should be a protective refuge from the onslaught of evil that is going on in the world.  It should be a holy place that will not provide traps for us to fall into captivity to sin.  David said, “I will walk in my house with blameless heart.”  The modern application of that could read, “I will not tolerate videos that depict or glorify sinful behavior,” Or, “I will not listen to music in my home that depicts or glorifies sin.”  David’s next statement, “I will set before my eyes no vile thing” bears perfect application to our decision to not allow pornography in any form into our homes. 

We should seek to surround ourselves with faith-filled friends that love God and will encourage us in our walks with God.  If we hang around with people who slander, gossip, mock, curse, revel, etc., our resolve to live for purity will be likewise corrupted.  Granted, we may have to be around people like this at school, our job or in our families, but we can choose to pursue friendships with people who will strengthen us in our relationship with God.   David chose to set his eyes on the “faithful in the land.”  He surrounded himself with godly people who gave him wise counsel on the many decisions of his kingdom.  He allowed them to “minister” to him.  In the same way, when we humble ourselves and extend the offer of friendship and/or fellowship to a brother or sister in Christ, we open the door for helpful counsel and encouragement – both ways.  For example, a few months ago, I invited two guys in my church out for coffee and breakfast respectively.  After our first meetings, we mutually decided to continue getting together periodically.  The deepened friendships that have grown as a result have been a great help to me in the challenges I have faced over the past month. Had I not picked up the phone and invited them, I would have missed the benefit of their friendship. 

David’s final words in the psalm struck a familiar cord.  Some people start their days listening to the radio or watching the television.  With the well-meaning intention of finding out what the news is, they also may receive a heavy dose of the world’s wisdom for the day.  At the same time, many people find it difficult to have a regularly scheduled quiet time with God in the morning.  If we could simply shut off (“silence”) the radio and TV and start the day right with the Lord, we would be better prepared to face the challenges of the day.  It’s amazing how some praise and worship, prayer and scripture reading can get us reconnected with God’s heart.  

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Heavenly Father, I desire to live for you.  Please forgive me for allowing the world to corrupt my thinking and drag me down.  Please cut me free from all the corruption of the world.  Please fill me afresh with your Holy Spirit and renew my conviction to pursue purity every day.  Help me to find godly friends to surround myself with and help me to make my home a safe refuge from evil.  May it be a holy place where you are honored.  Thank you, Father!  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”