Virtuous Life ~ Week 7

Purity is to live according to original design.
– Josh McDowell

Earlier this week I got mad. A bunch of dirty laundry (as I call it) that was piled up – the pile grew and grew until I was just so mad. I said some things that were unkind to my family. I showed a less than loving and grateful spirit; I made the excuse that if they would just put their laundry in the basket….if they would just put their dishes in the dishwasher….if….You see how no good thing can come of this right?

As I was trying to settle myself a bit; feeling guilty for my foolish behavior, I happened to read this:

“God gave me this to do. I may not be overwhelmed about it. I can try as hard as I can, and may fail sometimes. I can try as hard as I can and fall asleep at the dinner table. l can try as hard as I can and be completely burned out at the end of the day. BUT I may NOT be overwhelmed. actually, I may be overwhelmed but i may not say that I am overwhelmed. Words have a real power over us, if you say it, you allow it for yourself. You give yourself that little bit of room to say you can’t.”


But God gave me this to do. If nothing else I need to joyfully do this and that, because it is His will.

This brings me to the issue of purity, as I was reading my weekly chapter within The Virtuous Life.

Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let
us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates
body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for
God. – 2 Corinthians 7:1

I struggle, I admit it, now and again, with having that purity in my mind and heart. I think too often we limit what it means to be pure. It it so much deeper than we think. Love, patience, gentleness, peace ~ we need to put these one every day. We need to purify our minds and our hearts, pouring His word into us, daily. That we may be obedient to His word and show His spirit, His heart, His ways, in our lives. In our families. According to 1 Peter 1:22 we purify our hearts by obeying truth.

The Bible is full of examples of the need to purify, to wash ourselves. Take Esther for example, she had to be purified before she could go before the king; the Levites had to be purified too before they could serve within the Tabernacle. It is a big deal for us to be purified. Today, we need to be washed, buried in baptism, in Jesus name, to have that complete cleansing and purifying.

“We need to exercise the virtue of purity–  an act of obedience that follows repentance…a matter of embracing the goodness of God…one of the many ways that we glorify Him with our life. ” Scripture tells us again and again to take our thoughts
captive, to keep our bodies from sin, and to guard our
hearts. Our Pastor speaks on this all the time; how easy it is to have that one thought, and to just let it fester, as it grows and becomes more and more of a temptation, until finally it is one big sin that we cannot resist.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil,
as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may
devour. – 1 Peter 5:8

“Purity begins the moment we make a decision to choose
well. When we stand up to the flesh and follow the
spirit. The minute we take a thought captive and bring it
into obedience to Christ, we are exercising the virtue of
purity.”

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do
flows from it. – Proverbs 4:23

It all begins with the heart, because what is in the heart comes out of the mouth. It is seen by what we do, how we act. Our bodies, our tongues, they are instruments of the heart. I was for many years a dancer; not professionally but l loved to dance. Salsa,  swing, waltz….any would do … it was such fun. Great exercise. Yet I struggled always, because i wanted to lead; I wanted to do it my way. When I danced without being wiling to follow, things did not go very well. We probably looked quite silly. But when I was willing to follow; how beautiful it was! A vision. We are to be that vision, to the world, being perfectly in step with our Lord. HE leads, we follow. ❤

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye
are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear
beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s
bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also
outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are
full of hypocrisy and iniquity. – Matthew 23:27-28

God searches the heart; He sees those parts that we may hide
away from the rest of the world. It is so very important to
consider our thoughts as much as we consider our actions. A pure heart is focused on Christ alone ~ it is that of one who is showing kindness, walking in love and forgiveness, showing compassion and grace. *cough* I so want to be that woman. Who knows it I shall ever be, but I will never be, if I do not exercise the virtue day after day after day.

“When we give from the heart as unto the Lord, anything
we do including dishes starts to makes sense. We can say,
“Lord, this is the job You have given me. These are the
people You’ve entrusted into my care. And I’m going to
serve them the best way I know how.” A virtuous woman understands that her final reward comes from the Lord.

In all that we say, in all that we think and that we do let us consider: “Why are you doing it–is it for the sake of the Lord or for our own glory?”

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