I just finished a great weekend with our middle and high school students looking at purity. Even as I prepared for the weekend, I was challenged by trying to really get a biblical understanding of purity. So much of what I heard in church about purity was all about the “don’ts” and saying “no.” I don’t want to minimize the importance of having convictions and making commitments before God, but purity is about saying, “YES!” It’s about saying “yes” to allowing God to invade every area of your life and giving him total access to your ‘heart-life’. You see, it’s not about just managing outside actions. It’s about bringing our heart before God and telling Him that we have no hope in and of ourselves of living a pure life! We need Him to bring purity to our hearts, which will then impact our actions. I was challenged by reading Paul’s words to us in Philippians 4:8-9, “Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you.” It starts on the inside, which impacts our thought life and then we put it into practice. So we have to reverse our natural tendencies, which is to just manage (or sometimes hide) our external behaviors so that we “look” pure. Purity starts and must come from the inside out!