Cultivate Your Inner Life
There’s a danger that a book like The Purity Principle can appear to be behavior modification. I’m well aware that simple guidelines and the “just try harder” exhortation aren’t enough to break the grip of lust, or the power of deeply ingrained habits. There is no “easy little formula.”
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of drawing on the indwelling power of the risen Christ. Self-reformation is not enough. It may bring limited benefits, but it will lead to self-righteousness, not Spirit-empowerment—and nothing sets us up for moral failure like self-righteousness. The Christian life is far more than sin management. It is a divine transformation and enablement to live righteously.
Yet that doesn’t mean practical steps are pointless. Scripture commands us to do and not do certain things that are within our power. And often, in doing these things, our hearts change. So we should take wise steps, knowing that they are not sufficient, but they are necessary. Ultimately, the battle for purity is won or lost in quietness, on our knees with God and in collaboration with our fellow soldiers.
Busyness wears down our ability to hear the promptings of God’s Spirit, His Word, and His people. Fatigue makes us oblivious to what’s really happening. Healthy self-examination reveals to us our “triggers”—the situations that tempt us. We then take these to God.
Time with God is the fountain from which holiness flows...and joy, and delight.
The Purity Principle includes practical guidelines to protect purity, for singles, for married couples, and for parents who wish to train their children in purity. These include controlling the television and internet, and offering alternatives for how to spend our time. It also includes confession, repentance and developing biblical accountability that doesn’t just admit sin, but prevents it.