2 Corinthians 12:7 “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me,”

I have often asked myself what is purity? I never knew what it took to be pure in God’s eyes. I could remember crying some nights and thinking, “why am I so impure? And how can I overcome this struggle?” I felt afflicted by God and prayed constantly for him to take it away. But God had a plan for me (Jeremiah 29:11). A plan only He knew about and still knows as I walk with Him to learn what it means to be pure before His own eyes.

The meaning of purity is freedom from sin or guilt. Psalm 119:9 clearly says, “How can a young [woman] keep [her] way pure? By living according to your Word.” I learned in my walk with God and His Word that only He can give me freedom, freedom from being enslaved to sin and worldly sorrow. He had freed me from all the sins that I was entangled in: flirting with men to get what I wanted, dressing provocatively to boost myself esteem and thinking impurely whether it was evil thoughts- such as jealousy, envy, or lusting over someone.

After becoming a Christian I changed my attitude, the way I dressed, and acted, but I still had a hard time with overcoming my impure thoughts. I would get open about most of the thoughts that I had with my discipler and some sisters, but I was afraid that even they would judge me. I realized I was in darkness and thought I was living in the light. John 3:20 says, “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” I was terrified that my deeds would be exposed. Richard A. Kaufman painted a perfect picture of what I looked like “when [people] attempt to live a double life spiritually, that is, to appear pure on the outside but are not pure in the heart, they are anything but blessed. Their conflicting loyalties make them wretched, confused, tense. And having to keep their eyes on two masters at once makes them cross-eyed, and their vision is so blurred that neither image is clear.” My way of thinking was in a huge conflict with my new Christianity life style.

So how can I obtain this purity that God needs us to have? Matthew 5:8 states “blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” I’ve come to realize that being pure in God’s eyes is me making every effort to renew my mind and heart, to take captive every single thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:15), to go to God about it with prayer and petition and to devote my mind and heart to Jesus and to seek to live a holy life. God is faithful. He will always provide a way out and will never give more than what I can bear.

“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in my weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” 2 Corinthians 12:10.

I do have my struggles as we all do, but I make every effort to live according to God’s perfect and pleasing will.

-Tyisha Brown