Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God. [Matthew 5:8 ESV]
Look into your heart and honestly tell yourself what motivates your thinking and actions. Now, listen to God and let Him tell you. God will show you what is in your heart and you will not like it. In the Hebrew Scripture whenever you see “heart” God is talking about the whole person. “The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” [Genesis 6:5 ESV]. God looks into the deepest recesses and hidden chambers of our small hearts and sees truth. Nothing is hidden from Him. Yet, when we talk to ourselves our motivation is not to truth but to all which is selfish, self-centered and self-absorbed.
Do you want to know a person? Identify their motivations. Do you want to control a person? Convince them, through threat or repetition, what their motivation is (or should be) and that is what it will become. Is this not what Satan did with Adam and Eve? Did he not question truth and their understanding of truth and then direct though suggestion their motivation away from God? God created them in His image with an innate and intimate knowledge of Himself. Their desire was to do His purpose, which was also theirs. Satan bent truth and convinced Adam and Eve the lie was true. And their motivation turned away from God to something other than God.
Sin entered and from then until the end of history people’ motivations are bent away from God, twisted toward themselves, truth poisoned by a lie making it impossible for us to return to our original state of innocence before Him. Not that we want to. We cannot know what truly motivates us unless we are told by God because we will not admit the truth because we are corrupted by sin.
God does not fix those who are broken. God does not hammer out and straighten those who are bent. God does not make pure those corrupted by poison. Fixing something which has been broken still means it has been broken. Straitening that which is bent always means it has been bent even though it appears straight. Poison has touched the pure and it can never again be pure.
God recreates. This is His prerogative. He does not make better but completely changes into the best. But, He does not finish us while we remain in a world corrupted by sin. Instead, He promises and then guarantees His promise with Himself. His purpose for us remaining in this world is twofold. Half of His purpose is for us to be the evidence to the world of His gift of Himself. Most of the evangelical world considered this the most vital and the highest purpose for every Christian, to the point of idolatry. Or we just live expecting our leaders to do the work. One of my professors suggested “shepherds don’t begat sheep. Sheep begat sheep.”
God is also preparing those who are His for eternity. This means no longer thinking and feeling like the world but as directed by His Spirit. He asks us to do the impossible and has given us the tools, the image of God in us, and the motivation, the indwelling of His Spirit, to do His purpose. As we are changed by Him, fit for eternity, we will live the evidence for the world to see.
It is more important in God’s eyes, I think, to be what He wants and not just look like we are what we think He wants.