Why is it that as soon as we hit a certain age, we are suddenly old enough to be exposed to the ‘world’? ‘You’re already sixteen,’ they say, ‘Just watch it!’ or, ‘Just say it.’ or, ‘Just do it.’ But why is it that age defines what we can and can’t be exposed to? Why does it become so easy? Why does it suddenly become normal to purposefully expose ourselves to bad language or inappropriate movies or books, just because ‘we’re old enough’? Is this something we’ve been waiting for? Does it make us feel more mature?
They say, ‘Welcome to the real world.’ I have always been in the ‘real world’. But what I don’t want to welcome myself to is purposeful exposure to the things that aren’t pure in the eyes of God. The ‘real world’ is not what God had intended. His idea of the ‘real world’ was perfect, pure, and sinless. The fall of man brought sin and darkness into the world and along with it came impurity and peer pressure.
It’s so easy to just follow along because we’re afraid we might get teased or we might be laughed at for ‘acting younger than we are’. But there is a difference between immaturity and being wise. Maturity in general and spiritual maturity is knowing what to stay away from, being discerning and including God in our decisions. What we look at and what we do is between ourselves as individuals and with God. It’s not between us and the world; at least, it shouldn’t be.
But don’t be discouraged; staying away from these things is not immature, and it’s not us being afraid of encountering impurity. There is impurity all around us; always has been and always will be until we are in the presence of God. What I’m talking about is exposing ourselves to it on purpose just because we’re ‘old enough’ in the eyes of men. But in the eyes of God? His perfect idea of good and bad is different to the world’s idea of good and bad. No matter what age we are, he commands us to fill our hearts and our minds with kind, gentle, loving and pure things. (Philippians 4:8) Things that are positive and things that bring glory to God. He commands us to guard our hearts, because what is in our hearts, shows through in our actions and lives. (Proverbs 4:23)
But what can we do? It’s scary and it’s hard to stay away from it. It’s scary to think that we’re not strong enough to fight it off. Purity requires power. It’s impossible to do it in our own power. But all we have to do is to ask God for his guidance. We only have to abide in him and he will abide in us. All we have to do is lean on him and put our trust and faith in him. He is willing, able and powerful to carry us through; and he can make us strong even when we feel like we’re not strong enough. God isn’t going to abandon us. The times that we are need of his guidance and when we are being tempted are the times that God is the most present and he is working great things for our good.
Thank you for reading!