Harps and Hearts; Thoughts on Purity in the Life Of the Believer
“In speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.” – 1 Timothy 4:12B
I once read of an experiment done by a student of the physics of music. He wondered which musical instrument could be heard the farthest. He experimented with three: the trumpet, the violin, and the harp. The trumpet’s loud and blaring qualities might make its sound carry the farthest. The violin, an instrument with a capacity for high piercing sounds, surely would make for distance. The harp, a more subtle instrument with notes that seem to fade quickly, produced a purer sound. The student asked three musicians to row a boat out on a lake. Since sound carries well over water, the student knew that a quiet lake would provide a good laboratory. As each musician played, the boat moved slowly toward the center of the lake. At mile marker one, the student no longer could hear the trumpet. At one and a half miles the student could still hear the violin and the harp. At the two mile marker however, the student could only hear the subtle, distinct sound of the harp. He reached a simple conclusion. Purity of tone, not loudness or high frequency, gave sound its capacity for traveling great distances. Our Lord Jesus stressed the importance of purity in His Sermon on the Mount when He said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God (Matthew 5:8).
One of the best ways a Christian can witness for Christ is simply through their lifestyle. Every Christian ought to have a desire to live their life in such a way that it influentially draws others to Christ. I like what the great preacher of yesteryear, Dwight L. Moody said about personal purity. He said that, “A holy life will make the deepest impression. Lighthouses blow no horns, they just shine.” In our text above, the apostle Paul stresses the importance of living a life of purity to young Timothy. Why; because he was to show himself an example to others. I think would all agree that purity is a vital ingredient in the Christian’s life; an ingredient that must be incorporated into the tapestry of the believer’s life. Now obviously I am not referring to sinlessness; for that will not be obtained until we enter eternity in heaven with our Lord, a place where there is no sin (Revelation 21:27). Purity is not sinlessness, rather purity is blamelessness. It means that you live your life in such a way that no one can accuse you. It is a life motivated by a passion to please God. It is a desire to align your life with the will of God.
Furthermore, purity cannot be compartmentalized. In other words, you cannot compartmentalize to where you see yourself as pure in some “areas” of your life and impure in others “areas” of your life. Such compartmentalization might lead to the dangerous habit of justifying sin. The truth is, impurity infiltrates every aspect of your life. It cannot be quarantined into a compartment. An omelet made with two good eggs and one bad is a bad omelet.
In closing, consider the following story in the devotional “Our Daily Bread.” It tells of how “after a violent storm one night, a large tree, which over the years had become a stately giant, was found lying across the pathway in a park. Nothing but a splintered stump was left. Closer examination showed that it was rotten at the core because thousands of tiny insects had eaten away at its heart. The weakness of that tree was not brought on by the sudden storm; it began the very moment the first insect nested within its bark.” Oh that we would be people that honor God by living lives marked by purity!
– Pastor Eric