How Can We Be Clean in God’s Eyes?
Imagine a loving mother getting her little boy ready for school. She makes sure that he has bathed and that his clothes are neat and clean. This keeps him healthy and shows others that his parents are taking good care of him. Similarly, our loving Father, Jehovah, wants us to be clean—both physically and morally. When we are clean, we benefit ourselves and bring honor to him.
1. How can we be physically clean?
Jehovah tells us: “You must be holy.” (1 Peter 1:16) Holiness is related to physical and moral cleanness. We can be physically clean by bathing regularly and by keeping our clothes, home, and vehicle neat and clean. We can also help clean our Kingdom Hall. By keeping physically clean, we bring honor to Jehovah.—2 Corinthians 6:3, 4.
2. To be clean, what habits should we avoid?
The Bible urges us to “cleanse ourselves of every defilement of flesh and spirit.” (2 Corinthians 7:1) Thus, we strive to avoid anything that would damage our body or our mind. Our thoughts should please Jehovah, so we do our best to reject improper thoughts. (Psalm 104:34) We also strive to use clean speech.—Read Colossians 3:8.
What else could make us physically or morally unclean? Some substances can contaminate our body. Therefore, we avoid such things as tobacco, the chewing of betel nut or coca leaves, and the recreational use of drugs. By avoiding these, we are healthier and we show respect for the gift of life. We also strive to be morally clean by fighting against the unclean practices of masturbation and of viewing pornography. (Psalm 119:37; Ephesians 5:5) It can be difficult to overcome these habits, but Jehovah can help us to do so.—Read Isaiah 41:13.
Consider how being physically clean honors Jehovah, and see how to overcome unclean practices.
3. Physical cleanness honors Jehovah
We can perceive Jehovah’s view of cleanness by examining his commands to ancient Israel. Read Exodus 19:10 and 30:17-19, and then discuss these questions:
What do these verses reveal about Jehovah’s view of physical cleanness?
What good habits will help you remain physically clean?
Being physically clean takes time and effort. But we can do so no matter where we live or what our financial circumstances are. Play the VIDEO, and then discuss the question that follows.
How does keeping our belongings neat and clean dignify our preaching work?
4. Conquer bad habits
If you smoke or use drugs recreationally, you may know how difficult it is to conquer the habit. What can help? Consider how the habit affects you. Read Matthew 22:37-39, and then discuss how tobacco or the misuse of drugs affects . . .
a person’s friendship with Jehovah.
a person’s family and others around him.
Make a plan to conquer a bad habit.a Play the VIDEO.
Read Philippians 4:13, and then discuss this question:
How can a good routine of prayer, Bible study, and meeting attendance give a person the power to conquer a bad habit?
5. Fight against unclean thoughts and practices
Read Colossians 3:5, and then discuss these questions:
How do we know that pornography, sexting, and masturbation are unclean in Jehovah’s eyes?
Do you think that it is reasonable for Jehovah to expect us to be morally clean? Why?
Find out how to fight against unclean thoughts. Play the VIDEO.
Jesus used an illustration to show that we must act decisively to stay morally clean. Read Matthew 5:29, 30, and then discuss this question:
Although Jesus was not suggesting that we harm ourselves physically, he did indicate that we need to take action. What kind of decisive action can a person take to avoid unclean thoughts?b
If you are fighting to overcome unclean thoughts, Jehovah values your efforts. Read Psalm 103:13, 14, and then discuss this question:
If you are struggling with an unclean habit, how does this scripture encourage you to keep fighting?
A relapse does not mean defeat!
It could be easy to think, ‘I failed, so I may as well give up.’ But think about this: Just because a runner stumbles and falls, it does not mean that he has lost the race, nor does he have to start the race over again. Similarly, a relapse does not mean that you have lost the fight against overcoming the bad habit. Nor does it erase all the progress you have already made. Relapses are normal—they are part of the road to recovery. Don’t give up! With Jehovah’s help, you can conquer the bad habit.
SOME PEOPLE SAY: “I’m addicted. I can’t stop.”
What scripture could you use to show the person that with Jehovah’s help he can stop a bad habit?
We please Jehovah by keeping our body, our mind, and our conduct clean.
Why is it so important to be clean?
How can you be physically clean?
How can you keep your thoughts and your conduct clean?
What simple things can you do to be physically clean even if your resources are limited?
Discover practical steps you can take to stop smoking.
Examine the effects of pornography.
“Pornography—Harmless or Toxic?” (The Watchtower, August 1, 2013)
Find out how one man overcame his addiction to pornography.
“I Failed Many Times Before I Succeeded” (The Watchtower No. 4 2016)
a “How to Quit Smoking,” listed in the Explore section of this lesson, explains practical steps that can be taken to overcome addictions.
b For help to overcome the habit of masturbation, see “How Can I Conquer the Habit of Masturbation?” in the book Questions Young People Ask—Answers That Work, Volume 1, chapter 25.