What Does it Mean to be Pure of Heart? A pure heart is something we all would like to have, right? We would love to not be unkind or judgmental or unforgiving. Let’s take a look at what the apostle Paul said to Timothy about a pure heart.
** Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart…** 1 Timothy 1:5a
In other posts, we have talked about charity, or godly love. A Love that is complete and unconditional. True Love that can only come from the Holy Spirit and His working in us.
Agape love (true charity) is what we consider as 1 Corinthians 13 love. It is love that is longsuffering and kind. It is not envious or self-promoting. It is not selfish or raucous. Agape love does not think badly of others or of oneself. Agape love is a love for truth. It bears, endures, hopes and believes all things.
So, 1 Timothy is telling us that the end of the commandment is charity, which we listed above. Meaning, for me, that we can know all the rules and information that the Bible teaches us but none of that information should be dispensed without a cupful of charity.
To be honest, that makes everything we do that much harder. In every situation, we need to act consciously, on purpose, and others-minded so that our love shows before our knowledge does. Charity is love that is God-filled and God-motivated.
But the implication of our verse tells us that we can actually show charity and still be a little off base. Because it tells us that we need to show it out of a pure heart. Let’s see if we can understand a little better What it Means to be Pure of Heart.
Even if we lack a pure heart, we shouldn’t stop showing agape love. We should always be trying to show this patient love to others, and also continue to ask the Lord to help us to do it with a pure heart. We can look a little deeper into what we mean.
The Bible gives us a little insight:
** He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. ** Psalm 24:4
Psalm 24 tells us that the opposite of a pure heart is living in vanity. (Like self-worship or wasting our lives on fruitless activities. Vanity means being full of hot air, nothing we say or do has a positive impact.) Another opposite is being dishonest, developing a reputation that our words can’t be trusted.
A positive characteristic from this verse is having clean hands. (clean because we are using our hands for good instead of evil)
** He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend. ** Proverbs 22:11
Proverbs tells us that pure hearts speak with grace. I think that takes us back to charity qualities, right? Like being longsuffering and kind. A pure-hearted person speaks with grace and encouragement, edifying others even when someone is not being their kindest to us. Pureness of heart gets people’s attention.
** Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. ** 2 Timothy 2:22
Timothy, a young pastor, reminds us all to grow up and to let go of those things that were so important in high school. He wants us to realize that our emotions and attitudes and reactions and motives should be better today than they were back then. There are also many things we wanted when we were young that should have less importance now that we aren’t so young. We should notably be moving on with our lives. …which leads us to the second part of the verse….that we should ….
Follow righteousness…clean up our act…learn to follow God’s rules of what is good.
Faith…believing and trusting that God knows what He is doing with our lives and our future and that He knew what He was doing regarding our past.
Charity…there it is again….letting go of self-centered living and living to encourage others.
Peace….tension, anxiety, worry, and fear are all opposites of peace. We need to learn to let them go.
What does it mean to be pure of heart? It is manifesting grace, righteousness, faith, charity and peace. All blended together. It is to manifest the Lord, to manifest Christ, the only One whose heart is completely pure. It is a tall order that only a close walk with God will enable us to do and to manifest so many good things all at once or at least each one at the right place and right time.
In the meantime, we can work on charity. It is the first step towards a pure heart. The more we grow in charity living, the easier it will be to see the areas of our heart that still need some polishing and purifying. Whenever we draw closer to the heart of God, it magnifies the areas of our own heart that still need to be purified by His loving hand.
** Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. ** Not just in Heaven, but, also, a little of Him here on earth.