(Titus 1:15-16, NLT) 15 Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.
My granny used to always tell me to be careful of people who are paranoid and who constantly suspect and accuse others of being liars. She told me, “Honey, only a liar himself thinks like that.” She never referenced this scripture, but that is essentially what’s being said here.
I feel like many of us think that we hide things well. We spend a lot of time perfecting our public faces/personas, so that the rest of the world only sees what we want them to see. Social media is a controlled representation of our lives, and we often wear a different mask for every facet of them. There’s the work mask, the church mask, and even the masks we wear for our loved ones. Our true selves stay hidden beneath, only revealed when we want them to be seen. At least, this is what we tend to think. However…the true nature of our hearts are often revealed whether we want them to be or not. They’re in the conversations that we hold, in our reactions to others, and in our general attitudes toward the rest of the world.
(Luke 6: 45) A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.
There is a saying that we all know which says, “Actions speak louder than words.” I can see the point of this thought, but for me I tend to believe that actions and words are intertwined. Speaking is an action. What we say holds a lot of water because words are permanent. Once we’ve said them, there is no taking them back. Once something is spoken, it’s a seed that has been planted. The seeds we plant with our words will produce fruit, and that fruit is a direct reflection of our hearts. This is why what we say and do are so important! With each word, deed, and decision, we are building our testimonies!
Jesus said, in His sermon on the mount, “God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8) When your heart is pure, you see the world through that lens of purity. Because of hope, the pure in heart see potential rather than spew criticism. The pure in spirit recognize that through the grace of Jesus Christ anything can be made new. Though we are born into a sinful world, with sinful natures, we do not exit the womb with negative mindsets and corrupt spirits. Think about how loving and pure of heart children are, before life happens and circumstance scars their hearts and sets limitations on their abilities to love unconditionally. This is why Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 18:2-4) Children love big and without judgement. Children dream and imagine and trust with their all. They have open hearts and their joy is contagious. They laugh and love easily and with great enthusiasm. The heart of a little child is as pure and refreshing as spring water. We are all children at one point, yet somewhere in the midst of our growing we lose much of that purity and we allow life to steal from us the innate joy of living that God instills in each of our hearts. It is that thing in us that is a direct reflection of His own spirit…that breath of life from His own mouth. It is our vitality, yet it seems to be nearly impossible to hold onto as we grow and live out our lives. We let go of our childhoods, and with them we inadvertently release that purity.
But thank God for hope…and for His word! In His word we are reminded of that which has been lost, and we are offered endless opportunities to retrieve it. We have only but to ask.
Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
(Psalm 51: 10-12)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me get back to that place of purity that was born in my spirit, before I ever even entered this world. Restore my joy. Renew my heart. Help me to love with my words and deeds, reflecting You from within at all times. I don’t want to wear masks anymore. I just want to be the person that You created me to be…in all ways…at all times. Amen.