Verse 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
Yesterday’s key verse talked about how human anger doesn’t bring the righteousness that God desires. James follows that statement with our key verse for today that reminds us how we go about living the righteousness that God wants in our lives.
Remember that James was writing to those that were already followers of God. In fact these weren’t Gentile but Jewish believers. They had been trained since they were young children to live by God’s laws. They knew what was considered right and they knew what happened when God’s people didn’t live as He had commanded. They had heard the stories of God’s people being exiled to far away countries. They knew God’s moral code and that is why James is reminding them that as God’s people they had a responsibility to reveal Him through the way they live.
Notice the first thing that James tells them they need to be rid of – moral filth. Did you catch that? He didn’t say to get rid of immoral filth, that was a given, no, he was helping them remember that there are times when we can, as Christians, get caught up in the ways of church and miss the truth of living righteously. We know the rules of the church but we aren’t as in tune with God’s Word and His laws.
It is easy to believe what we are taught and hear from people within the institution of a church or denomination but if it isn’t in firm line with the truth of God’s Word then it is moral filth. James knew that the believers he was writing to were in situations similar to ours. They were living in a culture where evil ran rampant. The enemy isn’t lacking in tools for luring us away from righteous living.
We have all encountered some of the lies that the enemy tells us. Which of us hasn’t heard, “one time won’t hurt.” Or maybe, “don’t be so stuffy.” These little voices that tempt us to step out of the holy living we have been called to. It may not even be a bad thing, but just something you shouldn’t be doing right then. But we have to learn to discern between what is righteous and what is pretending to be righteous. Charles Spurgeon once summed it up this way, “Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.” This is why we must watch out for moral filth.
Making It Personal
Have you ever thought about the danger of not being intentional in regards to what it means to live a righteous life? How has moral filth been noticeable in your life? What is something that you felt like was a law of God only to find out it was just a family or church rule/belief?
Making It Personal Kids
What does it mean to live righteously? How do you know that you are living righteously? Is there something that you do that doesn’t fit that category that you need to stop doing?
Father, thank You for calling us to live us in a way that reflects only You. Give us the discernment we need to know the difference between Your truth and the enemy’s lies. In Jesus’ name, amen.