How Your Purity Affects Others
Written by Phylicia Masonheimer | March 18, 2016
No one would have known. No one would have seen. They were alone.
She was persistent, that is for certain. Joseph had declined her invitations time and again—it made no difference. She kept asking. But this time, she didn’t ask.
“Come with me, Joseph!” she hissed, grabbing his robe.
He pulled away. “No, mistress! I can’t do this to you or my master!”
“You can if I tell you to!” She grabbed his robe.
Instead of lingering, Joseph ran. A day later Joseph was imprisoned for rape—a crime he didn’t commit.
Why was Joseph penalized for choosing purity? Many of us ask this question. There is a quiet belief that the pure life is a math equation: Me plus purity equals boyfriend, or marriage, or success. But that’s not what purity is about, and it’s not why God requires it.
Purity literally means “holiness.” Purification ceremonies in the Old Testament were meant to cleanse the people from the effects of sin, both outwardly and inwardly. Because the whole world is affected by sin, and God is perfectly holy, we can never make ourselves clean enough to approach God or He would no longer be pure. In the Old Testament, animal sacrifices were made to cover for the sin of man. These sacrifices were made so often at the Temple that the smoke from the altar was constantly rising. When Jesus gave Himself as an ultimate sacrifice, He was the perfect Lamb. His blood paid the price of purity and made clean all those who trust in Him.
Holiness comes at a very high price.
God takes holiness seriously because God is perfectly holy. He longs to be in a relationship with us, but because He is pure, we must also be pure to approach Him. The blood of animals made this possible for the Old Testament saints. Today, the blood of Jesus makes it possible for us. Purity is serious in God’s eyes because it is essential to being in a relationship with Him.
Thus, purity isn’t meant to make us look good or get us a Christian spouse. It’s part of God’s bigger plan to draw people into a relationship with Him. Even more, purity is not just sexual; it is a lifestyle. It is choosing holiness at every opportunity in order to walk in God’s Spirit and unite ourselves with His plan.
What does this have to do with Joseph? When Joseph rejected his master’s wife, he chose the path of purity. His initial “reward” was being thrown in prison for years on end. But the story doesn’t conclude there. Because Joseph chose holiness over personal satisfaction, he aligned Himself with God’s plan. He was in a perfect position to be used by God in the prison. He was faithful to choose purity in the little things, and because he was faithful in little, God granted him success on a much larger scale. Joseph was made second in command over all of Egypt, over his former master—and his master’s wife!
Joseph rose to power at a time of great famine. Because he was faithful and righteous, He was used by God to bless all the nations in the region by supplying food to the hungry. He also reconciled his relationship with Jacob’s sons—his brothers—who sold him into Egypt in the first place. Joseph’s life illustrates the long-term blessings of choosing purity and joining hands with God in His mission of love.
Living in purity enables us to partner with God in His redemption plan. Every choice we make for purity is a witness to the world around us, a testament that God’s plan is perfect, and His ways are the way of true and lasting love.
Your purity doesn’t just affect you and your dating relationships. It is a witness to the world around you, however small it may be. Each decision you make for holiness allows you to showcase the goodness of God. Each time you choose purity, you are showing others that God’s plan for sex, love and life is the plan of hope and blessing.