Brothers | Mirrored | Filth and Evil
So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts… (James 1:21)
Now James has taken the gloves off. He’s about to get more real than we feel comfortable with. It would be nice if he was addressing bank robbers in prison or corrupt politicians. But he’s not. He’s talking to us. He’s already challenged us to stay strong, persevere, and rejoice in trouble. Now he digs in deeper to reveal the underlying problem that keeps us from doing that. It’s the meaty part of truth we’d prefer to overlook in our desire to revamp Christianity into a softer, cleaned-up version of our old selves. James confronts that secret desire with these words: Get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives. ALL of it!
What filth and evil? Nobody’s perfect, right? James strips us of that worn-out excuse. We don’t get to define Christianity the way we’d like it to be. He takes out a big flashlight and shines it on the garbage we still cling to while calling ourselves followers of Jesus. He’s talking about that trash we’ve spit-washed and called clean. Our reasoning might sound like this: “Yes, we’re having sex, but we’ll probably get married.” “I watch Game of Thrones for the artistic storyline. The nudity and sex scenes don’t bother me.” “I know that band’s lyrics are raunchy and filled with hate, but I like them!” “Yeah, my language is pretty colorful, but stuff makes me so mad!” “I HATE _____ (gays/ Muslims/Hispanics/cops/Trump.)” What filth and evil are you justifying?
Final Thought: Filth and evil = anything that Jesus finds repulsive. We must get rid of ALL of it if we intend to walk with Him.
Prayer: Wow, Lord, this hits me hard. Am I justifying things you call filth and evil? I’m ready to be honest with you and myself. What am I excusing that grieves you? I want the word of Christ to flourish in my heart. Show me what needs to go. Amen.