Friday, February 19, 2010

Taking a Look at Purity in Light of Tiger Woods

Earlier today Tiger Woods made a 13 minute long public statement that included a public apology, an admission to having numerous affairs and his plan for becoming a better person by focusing more on the Buddhist faith he was raised with and continuing to meet with his therapists and rehabilitation counselors.

When the news first hit about Tiger Woods a few months ago, most people snickered and laughed to themselves as Tiger Woods proved what we all figured to be true about successful professional athletes - they have their share of women, lots of women, when they want and how often they want. But when you look closer at the revelations of Tiger Woods life, you see a person that was insatiable in his quest to fulfill his sexual appetites. In his statement, he said that given his success, he felt entitled to indulge every temptation that came his way with no inhibition. As he begins the long road of recovery, I wanted to take a look at what the Bible says about sexual purity and how one can have victory in this area of life as I think most people who are enslaved to sexual sin often feel helpless and a victim of their own desires.

The Bible says that sexual sin of any form begins first in the mind. Let’s look at Philippians 4: 8-9, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” It is clear from this passage that sin, and for the purposes of our discussion sexual sin, is first conceived in the mind. The human mind will always set itself on something and Paul is strongly advising the Philippians to set their minds on the right things. This is of the utmost importance because it is a law of life that if a man thinks of something often enough, he will come to the stage when he cannot stop thinking about it and will eventually act on it.

Furthermore, Paul not only exhorts the Philippians to focus their mind on things that are good but is also urging them to cast out vain or impure thoughts at the same time. This is best achieved by recalling Scriptures. Don’t just read the Word, mediate on the Word. Reading is the exposure to Scripture, but meditation is the absorption of Scripture. It's this absorption that leads to the transformation of our lives. “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:2)

Once the mind is secure in the Word of God, the next step is to protect what we put into our minds. As John MacArthur once stated, don’t make your mind a trash dump. The Internet, TV, radio, movies and magazines are filled with sexual images and rhetoric that will pollute a pure mind. Be careful of exposure to things that will fill the mind with filth.

Lastly, in his second letter to Timothy, Paul warns Timothy to “flee from youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart." (2 Tim 2:22). According to John MacArthur the word “flee” in this passage is the Greek word “pheugo” from which we get the word fugitive. Paul is saying that he is a fugitive from all that defiles, all that corrupts and all that stains and blights. They are youthful lusts because they begin in youth, not because they end there. They are those lusts that are activated as someone becomes an adult and are so powerful that they remain. Paul simply says to run away from these temptations as fast as you can as the human will is weak, especially in this area.

Of course there is so much more that could be said on this subject but I am afraid it would take several more posts. That being said, as I watched Tiger deliver his speech, I wondered if any of his most gratifying escapades compared with the devastating thought of losing his wife and children. There is a great saying that bears much truth on this subject, “Sin will take you further than you want to go. It will keep you longer than you want to stay and it will cost you more than you want to pay.”

I hope and pray that if anyone is struggling in this area that this blog would help you to achieve victory through the power of the Word of God.

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