Fr Yacoub’s 10 Tips on Purity
Based on an URM sermon: http://subspla.sh/zdzyjhs
Fr Yacoub in his wisdom and experience of dealing with people over the years, has collated a list of how to deal with purity. Here it is:
- It IS possible to overcome the temptations of impurity. There are people in the church who have suffered daily from impurity, and were able to abstain completely for months, even years. The fact you know it’s possible is a huge motivation.
- Use the power of the saints as witnesses – go to the church alone and pass by the icons of the saints. Although some may think it is just paper, the saints can listen. Use them as your witnesses.
- Expect a tremendous gift from God – encourage yourself by asking for something high. After a number of days you’ll feel it’s impossible – temptation following you day and night. You may ask how can I be pure for 40 days? The harder it is, the more you know the reward is coming – expect it to be hard. But it does not go to infinity, the temptation will saturate.
- NOT A HINT OF TOLERNACE. Zero! If anything has a hint of impurity, escape. Not a hint!! (Ephesians 5:3 – “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy.”) If the edge is in front of you, stay 100m from the edge. The body desires against the spirit, you will fall if you allow a hint of temptation.
- The sooner you escape, the more the grace of God will come to you. Escape immediately! If you switch off the temptation immediately, God’s grace will come. If you linger, you will fall.
- Don’t resist, escape. Eg Kalistos Ware sermon on chocolate – he had health issues and refused to eat a chocolate in front of him. Eventually he ate it after a struggle sitting in front of it – he reflected how stupid he was not to throw the chocolate away. Escape straight away! If you rid the temptation straight away, you will overcome it. Distract yourself with something – but not anything, something engaging, something you can achieve!
- Don’t try to overcome alone. Use your confession father. Tremendous help is available if you are accountable to a human.
- The strongest weapon is the Psalms. Prayer of the psalms expels devils. Every time you feel a temptation – go to the psalms.
- Be joyful when your body is disturbed by temptation; when you are unbelievably moved by temptation be joyful. You can show the Lord how much you are struggling, and yet still resist. You are building blessings. You have evidence of your struggle for the Lord, despite no one physically seeing your battles!
- Understand the two major consequences of purity: 1. personal success and 2. the ability to save the one who is not innocent! You can rescue those around you with your purity – even those who are guilty. (“He will even deliver one who is not innocent; Yes, he will be delivered by the purity of your hands.”- Job 22:30). The personal benefits are overwhelming. The converse is also true, you can destroy those around you with your impurity (see Joshua 7 – story of Achan and his sin destroying the people).
It takes 6 weeks to break a habit. Work hard for 40 days of purity, and expect huge miracles.
Glory be to God, forever. Amen