“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” -Matthew 5: 8
John Ortberg begins Chapter 9 (The Good Life vs. The Good Person”) of Who is This Man? by stating that two questions usually are posed about worthwhile living: (1) “Who has the good life?” and (2) “Who is a good person?” He then quips that the first question is addressed in ads, the second at funerals. Furthermore, advertisements promise to give us the very things we wouldn’t want listed in our obituaries! Most importantly, a great deal of Jesus’ teaching addressed these two questions.
In Jesus’ day, Pastor Ortberg adds, the “good life” was described as “blessed”. Jesus taught that “through God the good life is truly available to anyone regardless of outer circumstances (emphasis mine).” On the other hand, Dallas Willard asserts that “perhaps the greatest contribution of Christ to human civilization” revolves around a single word that prevents someone from being a good person-hypocrite. Pastor Ortberg describes hypocrisy as a type of universal heart disease. The New Testament usage of that word reflects a unique emphasis on the condition of the inner person as opposed to public outer behavior.
Jesus is most concerned, the author believes, with the condition of our hearts- that our hearts are bathed and pervaded by divine love. The temporal promises of the “good life” pale in comparison.
Today’s question: What was the condition of your heart following your ministry downsizing or vocation loss? What has helped your heart to heal? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Having God” or “believing in God”