Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God.
2 Corinthians 7:1
It’s clear that the Corinthians had a lot going on, and could have benefited from a re-evaluation of the lives they were living.
They had come into the thought that Paul and his team were there to take advantage of them and, in false understanding, were distancing themselves from Paul. But Paul, in his patience, is here to encourage. In dispelling the rumors he is intentional to outline the things he has endured for the Gospel. But make no mistake, this is not out of selfish vanity, rather he goes through this to help them understand that his heart was to serve them! Who in their right mind would endure such things as Paul did for their own gain?
So Paul encourages them when he say’s “let us cleanse ourselves”. Notice he’s not pointing fingers, but acknowledging that he needs cleansing as well…even after all he’s been through and all the work he does for the Lord, he still needs to work towards holiness.
We all have things in our lives that hinder us from drawing close to God. For some, it’s worldly possessions, for others its addictions. Sometimes it may be food, or could even be the stress of everyday life. Through all of it we need to be intentional about removing things from our lives that are keeping us from drawing closer to God. We need to walk towards Holiness, not because we have to, but because our love for God propels us to!