Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”1
There was a story about a lady who spoke with a silversmith and asked him questions about his methods.2 As she watched the him, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities. And he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, “How do you know when the silver is fully refined?” He smiled at her and answered, “Oh, that’s easy—when I see my image in it.”
Purity in heart requires a different type of cleansing than purity of the body. We cannot give our heart a bath or, as in the story above, we cannot hold our heart in a real fire. We cannot, out of our own effort, purify our heart. But God can and does. “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.”3
We are intrinsically poor in spirit and our heart is corrupt. We cannot purify our heart using our own method and approach. We need God to purify us using his own method and approach. Our response, then, is to have God to purify our heart and obey him. God purifies though many ways—sometimes gentle and sometimes hard—we cannot insist on our way. God purifies with one purpose, so that we shall see God.
Imagine going on a city walk tour in a very crowded part of a beautiful city. There are many attractions and vendors. We do not know our way around and it is so easy to lose sight of our guide since the streets are packed with people bustling around. It is important for us not to get distracted so that we lose our guide, otherwise we may be lost, unless the guide backtracks and searches for us.
Life is like that city walk. We want to get to heaven, but there are so many distractions that slow us down and people who block our path that we need to alter our course. The true guide has sought after us and picked us up to embark on the walk. And he guides us patiently. We need to keep God in our sight, so we can follow him. If we cannot see God, we will get lost.
When something is pure, we say that it is 100% of that something. When we want to be pure that means we want to be 100% of God.
- Matthew 5:8, WEB
- Shortened and rephrased. There are many versions of this on the Internet such as can be found at www.heavensinspirations.com/silversmith.html.
- Malachi 3:3