The goals I had set for running that 10K were positive. But, I did not just head to the race that Saturday morning and successfully run a 10K in under an hour. I had to train for it. That meant giving up some things I enjoyed (did you know eating Mexican food just before running is not a wise choice?). It meant I had to use some of my free time to train. It meant I had to begin the running process several months before the race to build my stamina. It meant I had to be aware of potholes in the street and dogs loose in the neighborhood. But, the final goal was worth it to me, so I worked through the process of preparing for the race. And it was worth it: I achieved all three of my goals.
What does this have to do with sexual purity? Just as I incurred costs to achieve my goals of successfully running the 10K, I also incur costs to experience sexual purity successfully. We will “give up” certain things to experience purity.
Moses gives us an example of “counting the cost”:
Hebrews tells us that by faith, Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking for the reward.
Moses knew the reward of obedience was greater than the cost he paid. He refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. As viewed through Egyptian eyes, Moses gave up a lot: wealth, power, being part of the royal family. And, he gave up the passing pleasures of sin. The passage does not tell us the specifics of these sins, but by not sinning, Moses gave up some experience of pleasure.
Hopefully, you now agree that sexual purity means more than not doing certain things and now see the benefit and power of the positive goals.
Please look for the third part of the plan, Stormproof Men. We all face temptations to turn away from purity to sexual sin. That’s the topic of our next plan – the storms of temptations.
For more Stormproof Men resources – podcasts with Roger Fankhauser, a downloadable summary, information on the book, and more – visit http://www.gsot.edu/stormproof/. The Grace Center for Spiritual Development at Grace School of Theology provides non-degree studies, live online bible study opportunities, and resources, like this devotional.