“How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees.” – Psalm 119:9-12
These verses are classic “Christian coffee cup” verses. It’s something I find a bit odd honestly. This subject matter isn’t really cute or cuddly. The Psalmist sees his sin and is pleading with God to help him overcome it.
As a young man, I’ve heard Psalm 119:9 talked about again and again, 99 percent of the time in relation to porn and lust. And that’s true, the solution to overcoming those particular sins is to guard our path with the word of God. However, I’ve come to realize something.
My purity is bigger than lust.
I now realize that I live an impure life far more often than I thought. When I envy and boast, when I’m proud and spiteful, when I’m quick to anger and sharp with my words, I’m not living from the “pure, blameless and free from accusation” identity that Colossians 1 assures me that I have, in Christ.
You see, purity is all to do with wholeness. It’s about living “uncontaminated”, which is a far bigger issue than just dealing with lust. So many things, that we let slide, that we view as “little sins” constantly muddy the path of our lives, cause us to wander from the path God has for us.
Here’s the good news: though this verse diagnoses far more than we would like… the remedy is the same!
Our path must be guarded by God’s Word. We must saturate our lives, mouths, characters, behaviors, and attitudes with the words of Jesus. In John 15, Jesus tells us that we are clean because of the word He has spoken to us. It’s God’s Word which washes us, which creates in us the purity that we so desperately need.