The Purity Principle by Randy Alcorn is in the same collection as The Treasure Principle and it remains an equally important part of our lives. Along with The Treasure Principle, I plan on re-reading this book yearly. The author is very clear about what he feels is important on this subject, and he communicates it well to his readers.
The first principle Randy Alcorn covers is “Purity and God.” Though no one may see it, God knows what’s happening in your life. He’s aware of everything that you do and say. As the Bible says, “Your sin will find you out.” In an appropriate beginning for the book, Alcorn reminds us that we can’t hide anything from God. Purity isn’t a matter of hiding what you do—it’s not doing it.
Another thing that stuck with me after reading this book is the drastic measures that Alcorn recommends. Though they may seem incredibly drastic and not really that important, they are! The author convinced me, by the end of the book, that life on this earth is a war! We should take drastic measures to be in the world, but not of the world. As Alcorn writes, “Remember, if you want a different outcome, you must make different choices … If you’re falling, get rid of what’s tripping you up.”
In this part of the book, Randy Alcorn literally lists tons of extreme examples, concluding with the following exhortation, “But suppose there were no decent movies—what then? I enjoy good movies, but the Bible never commands us, “Watch movies.” It does command us, “Guard your heart.” It’s a battle—battles get bloody. Do whatever it takes to walk in purity!” Purity only comes to those who truly want it, Alcorn writes.
“But what if I mess up? It’s just me against the rest of the world!” In the last part of his book, Randy Alcorn touches on one of the hardest aspects of purity—accountability. Purity is much easier to maintain and press forward in when you are surrounded by companions, fellow soldiers in the fight that can help you uphold your goals. It is extremely helpful when you have friends who weekly ask you how you’ve done in the area of purity, and pray for you throughout the week.
By nature, humans tend to shy away from accountability. Most likely, it’s our pride that doesn’t want to have to admit in front of others that we have failed. As Alcorn put it, “…The minute I put down the phone, the temptation was gone. Why? I’d like to say it was because I was so spiritual. The truth is, there was no way I was going to face this guy the next morning and have to tell him I’d sinned.”
Alcorn encourages us not to use accountability as a report to show where you’ve sinned, but rather immediate help that can prevent sin. The honesty about sin in an accountability group is good—but honesty about temptation is even better, the author writes.
All in all, the Purity Principle is an amazing book. Along with The Treasure Principle, it addresses important areas of the Christian life. Both are books that I highly recommend to any Christian, at no matter what point in life. It’s a very short book—I read it in an hour, but the questions it provokes in your life are well worth the time. If you can get to a copy of The Purity Principle, you should definitely read this guide to purity in a fallen, sinful world.
Published on 26 November, 2010. Last updated on