Nike says “Just do it,” and Sprite ads say, “Obey your thirst.” You can’t watch a commercial, movie, or TV show that doesn’t have some kind of hint of sex in it. Food, drink, toys, entertainment, movies and even sex are just a touch of a button away. We can microwave food in seconds, watch entire series of TV shows without commercials, and access pornography with just a few clicks or taps of a button.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with food, entertainment or technology. God doesn’t want us to live boring, dry, dull lives. He created all good things (James 1:17). In fact, He created sex to be enjoyed by a man and woman in marriage. (Check out Song of Solomon in the Bible!)
But God wants us to control our desires, not be controlled by them.
Have you ever planned on just watching one episode on Netflix, and then when it ends, you start watching one more? Or have you ever started scrolling through Instagram, and all of a sudden you realize you’ve been scrolling for an hour?
Have you ever gone to a party where you knew there was going to be alcohol and said to yourself you wouldn’t drink but then somehow, you ended up drinking?
It’s easy to lose our self-control. And society isn’t going to tell you to stop. Your parents probably don’t know about your struggle, so they’re not going to tell you to stop. Your friends aren’t going to tell you to stop. Only the still, small voice of God is whispering to you now, telling you He wants you to live in purity.
Purity — The condition or quality of being pure; freedom from anything that debases, contaminates, pollutes, etc.; freedom from guilt or evil; innocence.
God does not want us to be pure just so we can be perfect little goody-two-shoes people running around telling others what not to do. He wants us to be pure because He created us for more than what the world says we need to be happy. He has abundant riches and pleasures (John 10:10) in store for us, but how can we enjoy them when we’re too busy trying to get pleasure from food, drinks, movies or pornography?
I want to be very clear about sexual purity: Sex is hard to say “no” to, which is why the Bible says to “RUN!” (1 Cor. 6:18, 2 Tim. 2:22, Gen. 39:12). Out of all the things we struggle with, sexual sin is the one thing that God tells us to RUN away from. If you are struggling with sexual purity, especially on social media, this week can be a chance for you to run away from that sin, maybe for the first time.
Maybe you don’t struggle with sex, but maybe some other pleasure is threatening to control you. As you give up social media this week, take some time to ask God where you might need to have more self-control. Pray for God to show you the insurmountable pleasures of dwelling in His presence.
WRITTEN BY: HALEY REMENAR
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is ... 23 self-control...
28 A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.
12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.
1 TIMOTHY 4:12
3 Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.
- Read Galatians 5:22-23. Why is self-control such an unpopular idea in our culture today? How is self-control possible?
- Read Proverbs 25:28. Why do you think the lack of self-control is compared to “a city broken into and left without walls”? Have you ever felt this way?
- Read 1 Timothy 4:12 and Psalm 23:3-4. Why is it important to live a pure life? What does it look like in your life to “set an example in purity”?
- What things in your life do you have issues of self-control with?
Ask God to show you some sins in your life that should be confessed. If we keep things secret, it’s really easy for those things to control us. Confessing to a brother or sister in Christ can be the first step to having self-control and staying pure.
If you have been struggling with self-control or purity, talk to another believer or your Lifegroup leader and ask them to pray that you will have self-control in this area. Ask them to hold you accountable so that you won’t keep your struggles secret anymore.