Daily D - Pure In Heart

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Matthew 5:8

When honest people reflect on their own inner reality they often conclude that purity is a rarity. True soul searching uncovers scandal in the darker regions of our being. If we were to investigate our own hearts candidly we would likely conclude there is no way we will ever see God.

So how can we rightly understand Jesus’ meaning of the pure in heart? The Greek word for “pure” here is katharos. It is the root of our English catharsis. Translations include “pure in motive,” and “unmixed in devotion and motivation.” The focus is more on intention and less on actuality. Or to put it simply, it’s about desire.

The pure in heart, then, are not those who can find nothing impure in their inner world. They are the ones who have been changed at the level of desire – the “want to” level. They may not always do the right thing or even think the right thing, but at the deepest level they are sincere in their desire to honor and serve God. Kent Hughes offers the helpful technique of thinking about sincerity from the opposite point of view:

“Negatively, we can imagine this idea from everyday life if we reflect on those people who, having been introduced to us, keep talking and smiling, while at the same time looking behind and around us at other people and things. They really are not interested in us; they only see us as objects or a means to an end. (Hughes, R. K. Sermon on the Mount: The Message of the Kingdom. Crossway Books)

Lord, help me translate sincerity of heart into sincerity of action.

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