Philippians 4:8 — Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things (NIV).
The word pure in this verse comes from the Greek word meaning freedom from defilement or impurities, innocent. The dictionary defines pure as free from anything contaminating. Given these definitions, one might think, “Lord, have mercy. The majority of my thoughts are impure!” If this is you, don’t be disheartened. You’re not alone, and your thinking can change.
In order to purify your thoughts, it is important to first identify where the impure thoughts originated from. They can stem from a variety of sources such as the way you entertain yourself, past experiences, addictions, etc. You need to ask the Holy Spirit to help you pinpoint the cause of the impurity, and then repent and rid yourself of it.
Impure thoughts never come from God. They are a product of your fleshly, sinful nature. If you are not thinking about whatever is pure, then you are feeding your sinful nature somehow. What do you listen to or watch on television or at the movies? Maybe you participate in unclean conversations with friends or coworkers. Perhaps you have been mistreated or abused in your past and haven’t forgiven yet. Bitterness and resentment cause impure thoughts of revenge and malice. Lust leads to unhealthy, sexual fantasies, and the list goes on.
Thoughts eventually lead to action, whether pure or impure. Romans 8:5 says, “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires” (NIV). If you are struggling with impure thoughts, crucify the sinful nature with its desires. Then your thinking will change.
Galatians 5:24 — Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires (NIV).
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