Blessed are the pure in heart
for they will see God.
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is pure. That’s the most important thing about it. And that’s not all. It also loves peace. It thinks about others. It obeys. It is full of mercy and good fruit. It is fair. It doesn’t pretend to be what it is not. James 3:17, NIRV
Jesus tells us that we must have pure hearts in order to produce pure and good fruit. “Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?” If our hearts are filled with anger, bitterness or arrogance, we cannot produce pure wisdom, thoughts, words or actions. Our thoughts, our words, our actions, our decisions, our reasoning – even our so-called wisdom – will be from the root of anger, bitterness or arrogance.
So it is with fear. If fear runs our lives, our thoughts, words and actions will be derived from fear. Our logic, discernment and judgment will be seen through the lens of fear.
The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 1 Timothy 1:5
However, with pure hearts, hearts of love as God is love, we will have a different worldview. Instead of the world’s view, the Holy Spirit will give us a Christianly lens through which to think, to speak, to write and to act. The Spirit will help us comprehend the intent of Jesus’ words, of Paul’s letters, of Peter and James’ theology.
With pure and humble hearts, the Spirit will guide us to be astute and mature in gospel thinking, and fill our hearts with mercy and grace. The Spirit will help us practice, embody and produce His fruit. He gives us a new lens through which we are able to think, speak, write and act.
What a difference when our thoughts, our words and our actions are filtered through the lens of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
“So then, you will know them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:20
Prayer can change our lens. Prayer can allow people to know us not by what we are against, but what we are for.
Finally, my brothers and sisters, always think about what is true. Think about what is noble, right and pure. Think about what is lovely and worthy of respect. If anything is excellent or worthy of praise, think about those kinds of things. Philippians 4:8
Next Week: Making Peace