2 Corinthians 7:1 Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
This isn’t a condemnation, but rather a strong encouragement. At the same time, it should bring conviction to a lot of Christians today, because there is so much in current society to contaminate our body and spirit. We aren’t to be legalistic, but we are to be careful. In a sense, this is another way of saying what James said so famously: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7) Right after that James went on to say, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:10) Pride is always a major snare for us. When we think we can live holy lives on our own, we quickly lose sight of what holiness is. It is only in Christ that we are truly holy, but thankfully, He wants us to abide in Him even more than we want to do so. If people in the world see no difference in our lives and theirs, they will have no impetus to change. And frankly, various studies have shown that there really is very little difference in the lifestyles of professed Christians in the US and professed non-Christians. That’s tragic. We need to take this admonition of Paul to heart, and indeed live as children of God.
I am preaching to myself here. People think I live this perfectly holy lifestyle, but I had a bit of a check on that recently. While I was in the hospital I was using my wife’s tablet computer, and I noticed that YouTube was giving me different suggestions than I was used to. Then it dawned on me that the algorithm weights to what you click on, and I realized “that looks interesting” isn’t sufficient justification by itself to click on something. That’s why it’s called “click bait!” The devil is the expert at bait, and I need to be both alert and submitted to the Holy Spirit, or I’m all too likely to take the bait.
Father, thank You for this important reminder. Help me live fully in all that You have provided for me, holiness and everything else, so that I may be pleasing to You and attractive to those who need to draw close to You. Thank You. Praise God! Thank You also that I was able to get out of the hospital yesterday, earlier than expected. May I not need such drastic “interventions” in the future!