I don’t know about you, but I am a creature of habit, in order to help to switch my brain off at night I watch some things on YouTube. It can vary a bit, but it tends to be about films, gaming or interesting fact videos.
It seems innocent enough but often YouTube can start recommending some pretty impure stuff due to how their algorithms work. If I’m watching a top 10 facts about cars video, sometimes the recommended videos below can be ‘Top 10 facts about sex’ or something similar. It might seem like a drastic jump, but it could simply be because the same person has made that video.
At this point I have a choice, do I just skip that video and watch something else, or do I go ahead and watch the video that could take me down a very dangerous road.
If we want to be counter-cultural people, we’ve got to be different in both public and in secret.
The beatitude we’re looking at says “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”
We cannot put on a false act and pretend that we are pure, it just does not work like that.
In Jesus’ day He rebuked the Pharisees for trying it on, “You Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.” Luke 11:39.
In other words, they made it look like they were holy to the world but were living secret lives. We have got to be taking the pure path all the time because God is the one we live for, the one we should be pleasing and bringing glory too. This is both in the light of day and the dark of night.
Purity according to the dictionary means: ‘Not mixed or adulterated with any other substance or material’. If we are ‘pure’ in the sight of others, yet doing impure stuff in our own time that no one sees, then we are not even getting close to fulfilling the criteria of being pure. In actual fact the standard for purity is not set by the world and a definition, but set by God and his word.
Purity in our day is not valued, not cared for, in fact impurity in many circles is seen as some sort of achievement- but we need to care for what heaven thinks, not culture.
In Matthew 6:22 Jesus says: “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.”
This means that whatever we are seeing or doing with our time filters into our hearts. So for example, if you fill your time with lustful activities, going on the Internet and looking at what you shouldn’t be looking at, then you will fill your heart with all sorts of impurities that will affect your mind and your understanding of relationships and humanity.
If you keep on doing this and look at people lustfully, your mind will become a hive that produces all sorts of sexually impure and adulterous thoughts, which is definitely not a place for God to dwell.
Ultimately giving into unclean thoughts, dishonesty, self-indulgence and addiction will push purity out of the heart and leave you with a body full of darkness.
Good news though, it works the other way round too:
Philippians 4:8 ‘Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.’
If we spend our time reading God’s word, praying, honouring God with the way we live our life, then we are feeding pure things into our hearts which then results in pure actions and thoughts both in front of people and in secret. What we feed into our hearts affects our will, our emotion, how we view the world and so our actions flow from it.
Now we ourselves cannot naturally maintain a pure heart due to our human nature to sin, rather we need to rely on God and His saving Grace. The first step is recognising we fall short and mess up and so turn back to God, we must repent turning our backs on sin and turning to the path that God sets before us.
So cherish purity, watch what you do and live to please God in all things.