When if purity doesn’t always look like an idyllic young girl in a field of white flowers? Because, let’s be real, that’s the image of purity that tended to blanket the cover of every evangelical book on purity – Purity in appearance.
Modesty was painted as the ultimate measurement of purity and inner beauty was exalted.
But when Jesus spoke in the Sermon on the Mount, He wasn’t concerned with how we look or what people thought of us, He was concerned with purity of heart.
But this isn’t the type of purity that we all look at and marvel over, because purity of heart means digging into the messy, broken state of our soul and letting God to the work of rooting our the filth and restoring us to the state He intended.
Purity of heart is something we should all aspire towards, but it’s something none of us can achieve alone. We need soul-carrying, sin-bearing, help.
Since the Fall of Adam and Eve, our hearts have been battered by the effects. The pure hearts God gave us were wreaked. Our desires became disordered and we longed for simple things more than they deserved and for holy things less than we needed them.
And our hearts became clouded and busted and impure.
To be pure in heart, we must let Christ do the work of rooting out these disordered desires and replacing them with a heart like His own.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Matthew 5:8, ESV
If we want to be pure in heart, if we want to be counted among those who shall see God, we need new hearts.
And that starts by confessing that our current hearts are corrupt.
When we think of pure hearts, we think of those never tainted by sin. But all of us are fallen. Even the most saintly human is corrupt and impure in heart.When we think of pure hearts, we think of those never tainted by sin. But all of us are fallen. Even the most saintly human is corrupt and impure in heart. Read about being pure in heart here: Click To Tweet
We need to hold ourselves accountable to the standard God has set but give ourselves the grace to recognize that even the most saintly saint has fallen short. They fell short and we will fall short. It doesn’t mean that we are beyond repair, but simply in need of the Blood of Jesus to fill our hearts and bring them back to true life.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9, ESV
Confession shouldn’t be scary, nor should it feel like admitting defeat. It is not a loss, but a complete surrender of the wicked part of our hearts to full healing in Christ.
Confession is an act of coming home and reclaiming the pure hearts God desires for us.
When I confess my sins, I start fresh with a pure heart, ready to see God and embrace His will for my life.Confession shouldn’t be scary, nor should it feel like admitting defeat. It is not a loss, but a complete surrender of the wicked part of our hearts to full healing in Christ. Click To Tweet
Purity in heart can be seen in a variety of circumstances, but it is not identifiable from outward appearance. Man looks at appearances, but the Lord looks at our heart.
So if we want to be pure, we need to be people who embrace purity of heart. We need to run to the foot of the cross and abandon the sins that plague us so that we can embrace the healing Christ offers for our hearts that have been broken and bruised by the sin that infects them.
And we need to do this over and over again.
Because I will confess today, and tomorrow I will fall short. And I’m deceiving myself if I think that it is enough to say I will no longer live for sin once and move on.
Confession needs to be a regular part of my life if I want purity to be the regular state of my heart. I need to examine myself, not as a masochistic way of tormenting my soul or to practice self-loathing, but as an act of self-care.
When I confess my sin, when I realize just how frustrating (understatement of the year) it must be for God to deal with a miserable wretch like me who returns to sin like a dog returns to vomit, I realize that I am loved beyond what I can imagine.
Over and over again God expresses His willingness to restore me to Himself.
Over and over again He shows me the sufficiency of Christ’s work on Calvary to make my heart new.
Over and over again He welcomes me home like the Father welcomes home the Prodigal Son.
So over and over again I will throw myself at His mercy and trust that when I confess my sin, He will make me pure in heart.
If you look at your life as a beautiful, lovely bundle that does the Church credit, I would encourage you to look and see the sinful state of your heart, daily, and ask God to grant you humility to rely on Him for a heart that is pure in the inside, not simply a polished exterior.
If you are discouraged because you don’t look like the “pure” people, I would remind you that the Bible is full of broken, busted, impure people whom God called and renewed. Christi did not come for the healthy, but for those broken by sin. That includes you.
Wherever you are, I encouraged you to regularly incorporate confessing your sins and asking God to make you pure in heart. Because when we confess, we see how far His grace extends.