Bible Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 It is God’s will. . . that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4, NIV
BAILEY IS A thirteen-year-old girl who has had diabetes for two years. Diabetes occurs when something called an endocrine gland quits making insulin, which the body uses to break down food. While in most ways you would never know she has diabetes, Bailey has to watch closely what she eats (and how much). Like most kids, she loves sweets, but she can’t eat as much sugar as her friends.
But sometimes she forgets. Other times she just can’t resist, and she eats a few more cookies than she should (like half a bag!), followed by milk and maybe a bowl of ice cream. That doesn’t hurt too much-she just gets “high blood sugar” and sometimes begins to act a little strange. (Her friends might say it’s not always easy to tell when she’s acting strange because she acts strange normally.)
Unfortunately, if Bailey has blood sugars that are too high for too many days, her body can’t clean the blood of all the sugar she’s dumped into her system. As a result, it gets kind of like the stuff that clogs up sinks-real gucky (that’s not the medical term). Eventually, she will develop a condition called ketoacidosis, when there are so many ketones in her blood that she wants to throw up but can’t. It zaps her energy and makes her stomach hurt. All she’s allowed to have is water and lots of it. Once the water “flushes” out the ketones, she begins to feel better. It’s possible, though, that after ten or twenty years of having ketoacidosis, Bailey will start to suffer real drastic problems, like losing toes or not being able to feel anything in her fingers.
Come to think of it, all of us are a little like Bailey. We don’t all have diabetes, of course, but we all struggle with impurities that enter our life. And if we don’t keep the impurities out of our life (like “dirty” thoughts and bad language, for example), we’ll suffer both short-term and long-term consequences.
That’s one reason why God commands us to be pure. He doesn’t want us to suffer the consequences of impurity in our spirits, just as he doesn’t want Bailey to lose her toes because of her physical condition.
REFLECT: The consequences of impurity are sometimes immediate, sometimes long-term, but both kinds of consequences are worth avoiding. When any kind of impurity enters our spiritual lives, what short- and long-term consequences can it have? Have any of these happened to you? What steps can you take to make sure they don’t happen again?
PRAY: “God, search me and see if there is anything in me that is impure. Remove it, and guide me so that it will not get back into my life.”