Summary: The condition of our hearts is of utmost importance for what we think will erupt in actions.
The Importance of a Pure Heart
All of us are familiar with the purpose of a greenhouse. People who have greenhouses are usually in the business of selling flowers or other shrubbery or just want one so they can keep flowers year round. The temperature, of course, is warmer in a greenhouse, thus the name that we are all becoming familiar with in our world as we talk about the greenhouse effect or global warming. Since the temperature is warm-and since the top protects the flowers from such things as frost or the harmful rays of the sun, flowers can be kept year round.
I once knew a couple whose yard was filled with different types of flowers. Just before fall and the chance of frost arrived, they would spend an enormous amount of time moving those flowers to a greenhouse. This of course would save them money because they would not have to buy all those flowers again in the spring. So that is another advantage and function of a greenhouse.
Usually plants grow faster, better and are healthier in a greenhouse. The atmosphere is perfect and the temperature is suited for flowers, fruit or anything one desires to grow.
But suppose you and I went out one day to gather seeds from plants we wanted to grow in this greenhouse. I walk out into a field and begin to strip seeds off of weeds. I take seeds from crab grass, dandelions, grass burrs and such. I fill a bag with these seeds and then return to the greenhouse. You begin to question my sanity because I told you earlier that I wanted a greenhouse full of flowers and fruit. I answer your protest, “Do you have any idea how much those seeds cost? Besides, you have to drive all the way to the garden center to get them. No thanks, I’m taking the easy and cheap route.” Doesn’t make much sense does it?
In this Beatitude in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, he says; “God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.” Jesus would later tell a parable of a farmer sowing seed. Some of the seed fell on the footpath that ran between the fields. It was very packed down as we have observed a well-traveled dirt road to be. The birds soon came and ate the seed. Other seed fell on soil that was shallow and had rock beneath it. While the seed sprouted, there was no depth for the roots, and it soon withered and died. Some seed fell in ground infested with thorns. They soon sprouted with the seed and eventually choked out the plants. Then some seed fell on good ground, sprouted, produced plants and much fruit.
Jesus is saying in both of these passages that it is important that we have pure hearts. It is only in the pure heart that he can scatter his teachings and expect fruit to result. Only the pure in heart will really be able to encounter God. Folks with hearts that are not pure do not function correctly and cannot be used adequately by God.
Maybe some of you have known or know people whose hearts were just worn out. I once knew a man who had this condition. He was not up in age, but he just had a bad heart. They had done all they could do for him except give him a new heart. Those who are on the list for a heart transplant have to carry a beeper around with them so they can be notified as soon as an organ comes in for them. Unfortunately, he never received his and he finally died.
I was once reading in Reader’s Digest about a mother with two sons. One night they were with their friends at a neighborhood hangout when a Cadillac came by and taunting began to take place between the two groups of people. Not long after, the Cadillac returned, but this time someone inside began shooting. One of her sons was hit right behind the ear. The bullet completely destroyed his brain, and without life support, his heart and lungs would fail too. As she was trying to cope with this, someone asked her to meet with the counselors from the Transplant Donor Network. They explained to her that her son could give life and sight to others by donating his organs. Reluctantly, she agreed, and her son was able to give his heart to an older man who was in desperate need of it. Because his heart was pure and undamaged, it was useful to someone else.
It is vitally important that we have pure hearts so we can be useful to God and others. Like in many cases, when Jesus speaks of having a pure heart, he is not talking about our organ or it being in perfect shape. In God’s world, we can have a bad physical heart and still have a good heart in his sight. Words we might find more familiar are mind, will or emotions. He wants us to have a pure mind. He wants us to be clean and pure as he was.