I have one of those faces. You know . . . the kind that shows every thought. My friends can always tell if I disagree with something or if I'm trying really hard to cover shock or disappointment. I've always been bad at hiding anything. So a few years ago I determined that, if my thoughts and attitudes were going to be so obviously displayed, rather than trying to perfect new facial expressions–I needed to purify my heart!
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).
This verse holds exciting promise. It motivates me to pursue purity. If purity was simply “checking the box” as I scroll down the daily actions of life, it would be much easier:
Had daily devotional time
Cooked breakfast for family
Sent card to friend in hospital
Baked cookies for youth Bible study
Purity of heart reaches far deeper than my daily actions–it should dictate my daily actions, but sadly, it's possible to perform lots of “good” activities with an impure heart. Remember Jesus' word to the Pharisees about this in Luke 11:39?
“Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish,
but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.”
Whoa. Pretty direct statement there. I wonder how He views my “cleansing of the cup and dish?”
A few years ago I did a study on purity of heart and came up with a few questions to evaluate my motives. You see, we can be performing some pretty spectacular looking, super-duper, spiritually impressive activities . . . but if our motives are impure, these activities are worthless.
Consider a few of these self-examination questions that can help determine motive:
• Would I be doing ____________ [fill in the blank] if no one ever noticed my efforts?
• Are my friends mainly people who can help me or offer some beneficial service to my life?
• Do I serve my employer for monetary reasons only?
• Do I treat coworkers as well as I treat those who can advance my agenda?
• Do I show respect and kindness to those who will not repay me?
• Do my thoughts include ideas to manipulate circumstances for my own benefit?
• Do I often attempt to present myself to others in a better light than is accurate?
• Am I hiding certain things from my spouse?
• Do I treat my family better when we are in front of others?
• Would I give financially to ministry opportunities if it weren’t tax deductible?
• Do I serve in certain capacities because of the respect it brings?
• Would I live my life any differently if no one were watching?
Consider compiling your own list, or you might want to share a few suggestions here with us. Please feel free to add to this list or to share anything God may have shown you today about impure actions.