Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 22:11
"He who loves purity of heart and whose speech is gracious the king is his friend"
Purity is the word tahor which consistently refers to moral purity or ritual purity. In the Hebrew world that means that one is not living outside of the Ten Commandments and has not contaminated themselves with any unclean substance. In other words, this was a person who was careful to stay within the boundaries of God. It often became associated with a negative rather than a positive aspect of its nature – one was pure by what one did not do and what one did not touch. This type of thinking is the easiest way to think about holiness and purity. It is not, however, the most complete.
Purity also contains the power of the positive life of God.
The life of God does not just not violate the Commandments; it moves to the core of the positive of the Commandment and performs those duties.
It does not just avoid having other gods; it highly honors and loves God each day.
Holiness and purity do not just not have idols; they work hard to learn the accurate truths about God and focus their attention on those aspects of His being.
Purity does not just avoid using the Lord's name as a flippant response or swear word; it causes a person to fulfill their promises and reverently use the name of God.
Purity does not just take a day to rest and go to church; it surrenders each day to God and wants to operate constantly in the center of God's will.
Purity does not just avoid shaming parents and authorities; it looks for ways to add significant value to parents and God-given authorities.
Purity does not just avoid murder, anger, and forceful intimidation; it looks for ways to benefit and love the people in their life.
Purity does not just avoid adultery; it seeks to develop multi-layered intimacy between husband and wife.
Purity does not just avoid stealing; it goes out of its way to generate excess profits so that it can be generous to those in need.
Purity does not just avoid lying; it works hard to share the truth wrapped in love so that others can have the facts they need to grow and make wise decisions.
Purity does not just keep from lusting after the stuff other people have; it constantly recommits to enjoying the blessings God has already given.
God is not after outward purity with inward selfishness and lust. He wants purity that goes deep in the person – what they think about and how they react. The only way to develop this type of purity is through the renewing of your mind and the power of the Holy Spirit. One cannot develop this level of purity by focusing on a negative.
Meditate on the Scripture and let it rebuild your mind into a place where the Spirit of the Living God can dwell.
How does a person meditate on the Scriptures? Take a verse of Scripture – any verse of Scripture – even this one and memorize it or write it on a card so you can carry it with you. He who loves purity of heart and whose speech is gracious the king is his friend. Push this through your heart. Over the centuries and millennia that believers have had the Bible, certain ways of pushing the Bible deep into your soul have been developed.
First would be confessionalize: This is looking at the Scripture and confessing any parts of the Scripture that are not true of you and any parts that are true of you. Example: "Oh Father there are times when I do not love purity, but I love sin and selfishness and greed and lust." "Father I do love speech that is gracious." "I agree with you that my speech has not always been gracious; forgive me in the blood of Christ."
Second would be to personalize by putting your name or personal pronouns in the verse to raise the personal impact of the verse. Do this over and over again. Example: “Gil, love purity of heart and speak graciously whenever you can and you will be the leader's friend."
Third, visualize the passage being true in your life. Picture yourself living out the truths of that verse in the next few hours or days. Only when we can picture ourselves living out Scripture can it ever become a reality in our lives.
Fourth, record insights that might become obvious as you study and meditate on this section of Scripture. Example: Much of these devotions are insights into Scripture after having meditated upon them.
Fifth, sing the Scripture. Sing the words of this verse to a familiar tune. It will almost always bring a smile to your face and rejoicing to your heart.