Devotions

Pure in Heart • Devotion #6: Image Is Not Everything

I love sports. I played baseball, basketball, and soccer growing up. Not to brag, but I was an intramural basketball and dodgeball champion at Oakland University, it was a big deal (it was not a big deal at all). It seems like every year there is a player somewhere on some team that tests positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Anyone who knows anything about sports knows the first reaction from a player when they test positive, “What? Me? No way, must have been a mistake.” It goes from that to apologizing for their horrible mistake and vowing to never be that selfish again. However, we all know what they are really sorry about, they are just sorry they got caught. They only cared about the outward appearance of how they were playing, with no guilt or remorse for how they were cheating until they got caught.

It seems that all humanity is concerned with these days is how we look externally. It is easy to attack the “world” on this issue, but I think Christians in the church are most guilty of it. We know the right things to say, the right stuff to post on social media, the times we need to show up to the church to make it look like our life is just cruising along, and then internally our hearts are moving further and further from Christ.

Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

What God looks at is the heart behind our external actions. In a world that constantly looks at the external, God is looking internally at what is truly behind our behavior. As believers we need to check our hearts often, taking inventory of what is actually motivating our actions. I will warn you too, you can only keep up the charade of “good” behaviors coming from a heart that is far from God for so long. Scripture warns us that “what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart.” This means that eventually if your relationship with God is failing, your external behaviors will reflect that. When I find myself being mean to my wife or impatient with my kids, normally it is when I have not been taking proper care of my relationship with the Lord. God wants us to be pure of heart, not just appear “pure” to those around us. Be honest with yourself about what drives you actions, and make a change if needed.

It seems that all humanity is concerned with these days is how we look externally. It is easy to attack the “world” on this issue, but I think Christians in the church are most guilty of it. We know the right things to say, the right stuff to post on social media, the times we need to show up to the church to make it look like our life is just cruising along, and then internally our hearts are moving further and further from Christ.

Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

What God looks at is the heart behind our external actions. In a world that constantly looks at the external, God is looking internally at what is truly behind our behavior. As believers we need to check our hearts often, taking inventory of what is actually motivating our actions. I will warn you too, you can only keep up the charade of “good” behaviors coming from a heart that is far from God for so long. Scripture warns us that “what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart.” This means that eventually if your relationship with God is failing, your external behaviors will reflect that. When I find myself being mean to my wife or impatient with my kids, normally it is when I have not been taking proper care of my relationship with the Lord. God wants us to be pure of heart, not just appear “pure” to those around us. Be honest with yourself about what drives you actions, and make a change if needed.



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