The apostle Peter is no first-century psychoanalyst. He does not preach pop psychology, but he does understand—inspired by the Spirit of God—how the human condition works. Obedience leads to purity, and purity leads to sincere love (1 Peter 1:22).
It’s surprisingly simple. No short-cuts. No options. No alternatives. Obedience produces purity; purity paves the way to true love.
This rings true in marriages, families, churches, and friendships. Sincere love—the kind that is selfless, genuine, and authentic—only emanates from a purified soul. All other love is tainted by mixed motives, unclear intentions, or simple selfishness.
If we want to love someone deeply, it must flow from a place of purity. It’s not just an act of our will. We must do more than simply decide we’ll love deeply. Purity forms the foundation for authentic love. Listen up, if you’re dating!
This true purity of the soul, according to Peter, flows from obedience; obedience to Jesus. The more we obey Him, the more He changes us … and the more we can love others. If we find ourselves indifferent to other people—the suffering and the marginalized—it’s likely that we have lessened our obedience to Christ and thereby corrupted our purity.
It’s simple, really.
The heart yielded fully to Christ in surrender and obedience, discovers real security. And only the truly secure soul can thrive amidst the sacrificial demands of sincere love.
Want a richer experience of love in your marriage? Seminars are filled with tips and tid-bits, but the real clue rests in obedience to Christ. Want unity and harmony in the church? We can talk about reconciliation and forgiveness till the cows come home. But the real way forward rests in obedience to Christ.
When we take the courageous step of obedience to Christ—every day and in every way—everything changes.
If you are yearning for something more; if you suspect that you have settled for second-best; if you wonder what more you could do to improve a relationship—work backwards through Peter’s admonition.
Obedience to the truth requires that the truth be embedded in us—read Scripture and reflect deeply on it this week. Purity flows from this obedience as the Holy Spirit uses the fuel of obedience to light the fires of transformation within us. And the ultimate manifestation is sincere love; life to the full.