Friday, April 06, 2012



The first 4 snapshots are about your heart before God: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied." The second 4 snapshots are about your heart relationship before God as you relate to others. The first one of these is: "Blessed are the merciful and they will be shown mercy." Remember, being merciful emerges out of being poor in spirit.
Now today we come to the sixth snapshot or beatitude. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." On the surface being "pure in heart" doesn't appear to have much to do with others. But when you check it out as this term is used throughout the Scriptures, it's clear that "pure in heart" is about being loyal, honest and trustworthy as a friend. In the Proverbs it says "the king's friend is pure in heart." Pure in heart is one who can be counted on at all times-a safe person to have on your team.

To be pure in heart is basically relating as a loyal friend. To relate as a friend is to develop relationships where there is trust and love! Where there is trust and love, there is affirmation. Don't relate to others as friends for their approval. You don't want to give anyone that much power. You only seek approval from your Creator-your Higher Power. With friends, you must seek affirmation.

The discipline here is to determine not to be a Lone Ranger in living your life. You need friends around you and you must be the one who has this discipline as an initiative for your own life. You must be first in relating to another, not waiting for others to befriend you. But note how it must emerge out of your mourning over that which keeps you from God. Friendship begins in your heart! So, SECRET #12 is The follower of Jesus is a loyal, honest friend.

The pre-requisite for relating as a friend is to reframe your weaknesses! In other words, if you are going to be a safe friend, you will be helped by being sensitive to that which keeps you from God-by mourning. If you want to be more effective relating as a friend, you must check out how well you reframe your weaknesses. How is the mourning process going? You can't be a good friend unless you have a lifestyle of being sensitive to your own weaknesses.

There are two critical cautions at this point: First, don't relate to another who is not into some sort of mourning. If you try to be a friend to a person who isn't sensitive to his weaknesses and therefore in denial, you may be in big trouble. Solomon warned that if you relate to a fool, you will end up living as a fool, too. When a person hasn't reckoned with his/her weaknesses, he tends to want to point out yours in a condemnatory fashion.

Second, don't relate to another person without reframing your weaknesses. I have played the part of a fool on too many occasions. I've allowed people to use me to gain credibility that they lacked, allowed people to use me to pay for their own guilt by pointing out my failures, allowed wreckage to remain at the side of life's road, and allowed my naiveté to bring condemnation down upon me.
Without proper mourning you waste your sorrows and troubles, because without proper mourning there is no comfort and joy-satisfaction. And, without that satisfaction, you will find it very difficult to relate as a friend.

Everyone is in desperate need of the dynamic of friendship. Without a friendship you die. Life flows through it and death reigns without it. How are you doing in developing this discipline? Make sure to live your life with trusted and loving friends. A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you've forgotten the words. But there's one more dynamic I'd like to suggest. Turn your friends into "walking partners" as you walk your walk with Jesus. Learn to discuss and do things in the name of Jesus and in the spirit of His Kingdom in that relationship. This will deepen any friendship into a life partnership as you learn to do life together.

ONE MORE THING: The pure in heart are given a special reward for taking care of the heart. They will see God. Whatever else that means, it's clear that God puts a high premium on your heart. Want to see God, then allow Him to own your heart. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." SECRET #12 is: The follower of Jesus is a loyal, honest friend.