My name is not an exciting conversation starter. It’s not linked to another name. There is no family history revealing quirky or interesting facts about how my parents came to name me. The name “Katie”, however, is a variant of Katherine. I learned very quickly that it means “pure”.
For a long time I didn’t quite get the meaning of pure. I used to pride myself on being a good person. To me, “good” was close enough to pure. I knew that I sinned, but I never sinned “badly”, in my eyes. I rarely made my parents angry when I was younger. I was quiet, timid, shy and out of everyone’s hair. To me, that was important.
As I grew up, I became more aware of the enticing world around me. The distorted view I had of God’s grace and love did not encourage me to fight temptation. Several mistakes later, I felt far from good, and I felt far from pure. I knew I had lost my virginity. I know I am not alone in this.
For me, I believed that because I had screwed up in a big way, and continued to screw up, thanks to addiction, that I was no longer good enough to be part of God’s family. Never mind what the Bible says, I had my own version of morality.
What does the Bible actually say? There is plenty said about purity and being pure, and not all of the verses explicitly refer to sexual immorality. Paul wrote a frighteningly long list to the Galatians that specifically and explicitly explain the ‘desires of the flesh’ (Galatians 5:17). Two of these desires that Paul mentions are sexual immorality and impurity.
While I know I have given into the fleshly desires of sexual immorality and impurity, I also know that I live with Jesus in my life. Jesus isn’t an excuse for impurity, however He does bring redemption. He is the way to freely move forward as if I never sinned: “As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).
This is true for all single Christians who have a sexual past. There is always hope where Jesus is concerned. Our sinful behaviors do not need to shape who we are. If we come to repentance like David did in Psalm 51, we can know redemption. Redemption allows us to be adopted into God’s family.
I no longer need to feel unclean and dirty. God’s grace has nothing to do with me being good. It means that God is bigger than anything in the world, bigger than my sin. It means understanding that God can and has freed me from a sinful past. It means that I can wear my purity ring with confidence that I am forgiven from all sins and I have been washed clean in Christ’s eyes.
What’s in a name? I, Katie, can stand before God pure and blameless in His sight.
Do you struggle with your own past sexual sin and believing that in Christ your are redeemed, you are pure?
Katie is an Australian in her mid-twenties seeking to live with purpose Down Under. She is a passionate writer who desires to see her words encourage and bring hope to young women. Katie lives with an American family and 2 cheeky dogs. You can read more on Katie’s blog – Our Seasons of Grace – and you can follow her on Facebook.