Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing is Søren Kierkegaard’s classic meditation on James 4:8
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
This book is definitely worth the investment of time. Kierkegaard’s keen insight into human nature is obvious in every line of the book. He explores the nature of the human will and its desires. Reading the book is an exercise in increasing self-awareness, particularly our propensity to be double-minded in our will and desires.
Kiekegaard points out that repentance is a guide that leads us to purity of heart.
“But there is a concerned guide, a knowing one, who attracts the attention of the wanderer, who calls out ot him that he should take care. That guide is remorse. He is not so quick of foot as the indulgent imagination, which is the servant of desire. He is not so strongly built as the victorious intention. He comes on slowly afterwards. He grieves. But he is a sincere and faithful friend. If that guide’s voice is never heard, then it is just because one is wandering along the way of perdition. For when the sick man is wasting away from consumption believes himself to be in the best of health, his disease is at the most terrible point…So wonderful a power is remorse, so sincere is its friendship that to escape it entirely is the most terrible thing of all.”