"Let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates the body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God." ~2 Corinthians 7:1
This verse can mean so many different things - is it physical, spiritual or psychological? Or all three? Can we not eat fried chicken? Or use deodorant with aluminum? Or watch a rated R movie? I tend to think that many take this out of context.
If we read the letter to the Corinthians, we see that Paul is really emphasizing the need for the new Christians to stay away from idolatry, which was rampant in their culture. Corinth was a sensual pleasure center, fixated on the worship of the goddess of love, Aphrodite. More than 10,000 prostitutes lived in her temple and interaction was a form of worship. Paul is teaching that Christians are set apart - made holy by God.
It may be easier to live a holy life nowadays, but then again, maybe not. Idolatry is sneaky - there may not be golden statues that are worshipped in mainstream America or temples to avoid, but anything that continually takes our focus off of God can be an idol. Even good things can become idols - like our children, for example. Or always helping others at the expense of spending time with our families. Have you ever lost a couple of hours because you were watching videos on social media? It is an on-going battle to live a holy life. Notice that the verb 'perfecting' is a continuous action, not a one-and-done. Every day is a new day and we can choose to live as the world does or rid ourselves of idolatrous actions.
Lord, help us to recognize when we are not living a holy life - one set-apart to honor You. Turn us towards Your face and let us reflect Your image to those around us. Amen.
Have a blessed day!
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