“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
This post is more of a one-way-to-apply-this than an exegesis on the verse itself.
It struck me as I read over these words that I might have a little work to do on this one. At some level, we all do, but I was hit by the question: Would people see me as pure in heart? And then the next question: How would I show I am pure in heart? And another question: What does it actually look like for me to be impure in my heart?
Think about it for a minute. If my heart isn’t pure, there is a very high possibility you would never know. No one can stare at the center of my emotions and tell me my heart is pure or it isn’t. No one really knows.
We can say we know a tree by its fruit, but the problem with that is people get accused of heart issues all the time that are unfounded. In other words, I can have the best of intentions, and then what I do either flops on its own or is misunderstood or picked apart by others. It doesn’t mean I have a bad heart. It means either I could have done it better or differently, or that someone else read into what I was doing through their own perception of the action.
I sat here this morning thinking about how I would convey the purity of my heart, and I had this thought: no angles. To say what I mean and mean what I say may be the best indicator of pureness of heart.
Have you ever felt like someone was working an angle on you? Maybe they were trying to sell you something or they were trying to convince you of something with leading questions. People tend to have a keen awareness of this happening, and it feels gross.
I find this particularly true with Christians who, with the best of intentions, try to “get other people saved.” I have heard many non-Christians say they don’t like talking to Christians because they feel like they are always being pushed to make a decision for Christ. Is this bad? On one hand, they need to be invited into a relationship with Jesus. They need to see how much more their life can be with God at the center of it. But at the same time, if people only feel valued when they agree and comply with us, then something is terribly wrong with how we are relating to others.
A place we might start in this process is to ask some simple questions. Do my neighbors know I love them? Do they know it is okay for them to disagree with me? Would I still love them even if they never made a decision to follow Christ? Why do I build relationships with others? Am I trying to “win the world” or to “love the world?” This simple switch of motivation doesn’t sound like much, but it is profound.
May we be Christians without angles. May our hearts be pure in our dealings with others. May our yes be yes and our no be no. May the world see that we love them because Jesus loves them, because they are human, and because they are worth loving. And may we see God in the reality of this.