Everyone knows at least one. They smile when the world is upside down. They look away when their neighbor has robbed them blind. They bless the one who would ruin their name. They extend a hand to the one who everyone else has passed by. They are the naïve. The very word puts one in mind of a unique tribe of people, possibly an American subculture, whose last vestiges of language and behavior surface from time to time, though they are quickly fading. They say things like “he really didn’t mean that,” or “she must not be feeling well.” They dismiss apparently intentional spiteful words and actions with a smile or an encouraging pat on the back. One day after a particularly frustrating conversation with an elderly godly woman I call ‘mother’ I came to the conclusion that she was just helplessly naïve about life in general and some people in particular. How had she lived to the ripe old age of eighty-two with no life threatening diseases, a sharp mind that still balanced her own checkbook, and a vibrant walk with God and been so naïve? Sometimes you just couldn’t make her understand. She was almost like a child. Then that Voice spoke to me “the world calls it naïve, but I call it a pure heart.” I nearly shouted “what was that?” So, I was duly corrected and I have not forgotten that correction. A pure heart, is it? In my research I found that according to I Peter 1:22 we are to “love one another with a pure heart fervently.” The first part of that scripture explains how to do this. It is by intention, an act of the will, “seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth.” Verse twenty-four reminds us that “all flesh (even ours) is as grass.” We are all capable of letting someone down, letting ourselves down and letting God down. We are at best weak and vulnerable, unstable and frail. The bright spot is not our glory which fades away quickly, but it is the Word of God that brings light, gives hope, imparts everlasting life. So it is that the pure will speak that word of encouragement and comfort and love even when it is undeserved. I used to call it naïve, but now I know it’s a pure heart.
Lord, please forgive me of cynicism toward my brothers and sisters. Help me to not second guess their thoughts and intentions. Help me purify my soul by obedience to truth. May I be humble before you and remember that I am flesh. It is your Word that abides forever. Help me to bless others out of a pure heart. Amen.
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