This Year, Live by the Beatitudes (6)
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Mt 5:8 NKJV
Make your heart “a controlled environment,” because what happens there determines how you respond to life. When it comes to people, pastimes and pursuits, don’t open yourself to anything that has the potential to take you captive, or to make you cynical and cold-hearted. If you do, you’ll shut yourself off from God’s blessing. In his book Next Door Savior, Max Lucado writes: “The countryside was flat and predictable, that’s why the refinery stood out like a science-fiction city. The function of that maze of machinery is defined by its name. A refinery takes whatever comes in and purifies it, so that it’s ready to go out. It does for petroleum what your heart should do for you—remove the bad and utilize the good. Jesus said, ‘The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart’ (Lk 6:45 NIV). So here are some questions you need to ask yourself: ‘When I’m criticized or ignored do I bite back, or bite my tongue? When I’m on overload do I blow my top, or stay cool? When I hear gossip do I entertain it, silence it or spread it? When somebody offends me do I harbor a grudge, or choose to forgive?’ It all depends on the condition of your heart.” When your heart has been purified you’ll begin to “see God” in people and situations you never noticed Him at work in before. Knowing first-hand the dangers of spiritual heart disease, the Psalmist wrote, “Create in me a clean heart, O God” (Ps 51:10). If you need a spiritual catharsis, spend time in the presence of God.