Verse 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Yesterday we focused on the first of the list of things that God the Father accepts as reflections of a follower of Christ and today we will look at the second portion of the list.
Remember we said yesterday that James listed things that represented the two laws that Jesus gave – love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength & love your neighbor as yourself. There are many passages which talk about putting God first in our lives. This passage takes a slightly different approach as it shows us how loving the things of this world will affect our view of Jesus.
Pollution is not something that anyone strives to enjoy. We know that it causes issues with our health and who likes being sick? So why is it that we are willing to ignore the smog of the spiritual world? It isn’t that spiritual smog is any less dangerous. In fact, truth be told, spiritual smog is even more deadly because it has eternal significance.
Notice that James’ statement doesn’t say that there may be pollution in the world. No, he goes in with the knowledge that the world is a bad influence. We tend to ignore the danger of the pollution of evil all around us. We know it is there, but we don’t like to think that we are in danger. We don’t fear it and so walk in and out of the smog area like it won’t affect our lives.
James makes the point that it is about keeping ourselves from becoming polluted by the world. The best way to keep from getting polluted is by placing yourself as far from it as possible. If we want to remain pure of smog we must keep away from it. It may not be easy and we may not even think it is possible to keep ourselves from it. But if we are wanting to be reflecting Christ to the world, we MUST keep ourselves from the pollution.
Keeping ourselves from spiritual smog is a choice. While we can’t make ourselves righteous, our lives will reflect the depth of our commitment to God. How smoggy are your surroundings?
Making It Personal
What is the spiritual environment around you? Do you make choices that keep you away from spiritual smog? What choices need to change in your life so that you are keeping away from smog?
Making It Personal Kids
What is spiritual smog? How do you know what spiritual smog is? How can you stay away from spiritual smog?
Father, thank You for calling us to live in the fresh air of Godly living. Help us be aware when we are getting too close to spiritual smog so that we can steer away from it. In Jesus’ name, amen.