Are you in alignment?
There are three more aspects of chaste that I want to look at over these last three weeks in January. In the first two blogs on what it means to be chaste, we looked at the definitions of being holy or set apart for God and of being clear, pure, calm all the way to the core of our being. An extension of the definition is worded in this way: "honest, sincere, blameless, unmixed with guilt or anything condemnable."
Chaste carries with it the concepts of honest, sincere, and trustworthy, all of which add up to a life of integrity. There aren't too many sermons throughout life so vivid that I fully recall the content as well as the speaker, time, and place. But I clearly recall a sermon I heard in Alaska on integrity. The man who spoke that day explained the etymology of the word integrity, saying that it came from the same root as integer. Every integer is one whole number; it means complete, entire, not divided as a fractional number is. He went on to say, this is how our lives are to be: one unified whole, where everything in our lives lines up and speaks the same message. Every part of our lives should proclaim that we belong to Christ Jesus, that He is our Lord and Master.
When nothing in our lives is out of alignment with the truth and character of Christ, we have complete integrity.
It affects the way we speak—always honest, always kind and gracious, always true; never crude or putting others down. The people around us don't have to fear or walk on eggshells around us, wondering if we're going to be nice one minute and explode or be irritable the next.
It affects the way we think—as Philippians 4:8 says, we are to think on those things that are true, noble, right pure, lovely, admirable—anything that is excellent or praiseworthy. We aren't to give mental air time to all the annoying, unpleasant things about others (which we all have). It's very easy to nurture the negative about others. But if we are to be women who are chaste, we can't afford to nurture the negative. Replace it with that list from Philippians. I love that Paul uses the word anything—anything at all that is excellent or praiseworthy. If your mind keeps only coming up with something negative about some person and you can't think of anything positive, then think on Jesus Christ. He is altogether lovely. Just begin to worship Christ to renew your mind and stop the negative cycle.
It affects the way we treat others—we are sincerely interested in the other person; we seek ways to help and serve. We keep our word.
In all these ways we are trustworthy. As we saw with the word discreet, we are safe people to be around. Our love for others is sincere, not two-faced, not one way face-to-face and another way behind the person's back, not a public persona and a private reality. We are who we are all the way through.
Now, ALL of us can look back to times when we blew it, when we weren't "safe," when our words, thoughts, or actions were out of alignment with what we know it means to be a Christian and to have Christ-like character. Like Paul says in Romans 6: "What fruit did you have in the things of which you are now ashamed?" Just the memory of those moments or interactions in our lives make us feel ashamed. We can confess it and clear it up with God and whoever else was the brunt of our out-of-alignment word or deed, but the shameful memory is still there. We can't go back and do it over. God's economy of time does not permit that. So what do we do?
Here are a few suggestions:
Make sure you have confessed it to God as sin and have asked His forgiveness.
Make every effort to confess it for what it was to the person who bore the brunt of your sin and ask their forgiveness.
Thank God for the convicting work of His Spirit that revealed your sin to you. Without His work in your heart, you would go blindly on blaming others for your own wrongdoing and never even realize where you are wrong.
Accept the reality of God's faithful and just forgiveness because of Christ's payment on the cross, and accept the reality of time that only goes forward and not backward. Then put it behind you. With each reminder of any shameful thing, thank God for His full and complete salvation. Without it, we'd be trapped in shame forever.
Let shameful things from the past serve to build humility and grace and mercy in your life for others who hurt you.
Pray often for God to align your life fully to Him and His truth. Pray for His work within you to make you a chaste woman. He alone has the power to change our sin-saturated hearts into the image of His blessed Son.
All of us are out of alignment. Bringing us fully into alignment is the work of sanctification. As we come more and more into alignment with Christ, we become chaste: without hypocrisy, wholly sincere, pure, unmixed and uncontaminated with evil, trustworthy, blameless, honest through and through, without anything shameful or condemnable, having integrity. What a lovely and marvelous work God is doing in our hearts!
Oh, God, make us chaste.
Listed below are some verses to meditate on re: these definitions of chaste.
I Timothy 1:5: Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith.
I Corinthians 5:8: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Colossians 3:22: Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God.
I John 3:18: My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
I Peter 2:1-5: Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the work, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
II Corinthians 1:12: For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.
Philippians 1:9-11: And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Titus 2:6-8: Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.
II Corinthians 2:17: For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.
I Peter 1:22: Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.
Romans 12:9: Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
Psalm 32:2: Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
Proverbs 4:25-27: Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil.
Proverbs 10:9: He who walks with integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will become known.
Proverbs 11:3: The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.
Proverbs 12:22: Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight.
Proverbs 6:16-19: These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.
Proverbs 14:2: He who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord, but he who is perverse in his ways despises Him.
II Corinthians 8:21: For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man. (ESV)
I Peter 3:10: He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit.
I Peter 3:15-16: But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear, having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.
Hebrews 13:18: Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably.
II Timothy 2:15: Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth.
I Timothy 4:12: Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers, in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
I Timothy 4:15: Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.
Colossians 1:9-11: For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy.
Colossians 3:9: Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.
Philippians 4:8: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
James 3:17: But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
James 1:26: If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless.
Ephesians 4:25: Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another.
I Chronicles 29:17: I know also, my God, that You test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things; and now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here to offer willingly to You.
Psalm 25:21: Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for You.