If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. 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. James 1:26-27 (NIV)
There is a lot of pollution in the world. What does that mean? I think you know. You tell me about pollution that is in the world. Are we talking about things in the world that might pollute my heart and mind and life? Are we talking about things in the world that might ruin my faith? Yes, that is what we are talking about. Then, I can comment on that. I have some thoughts about that. Let me hear your thoughts. My life is under bombardment from the world. My heart and mind and life are under constant attack whether I realize it or not. How are you under bombardment and under attack? The world would like me to adopt all its thoughts and opinions and values. The world would like me to live according to its principles and practices. The world would like to mold me into its likeness. These are the constant and unrelenting messages that I am receiving from everything that is in the world around me. What would your life look like if you allowed it to conform to the pattern of this world? My life would be self-centered and self-serving. My life would be self-reliant and self-indulgent. I would have no need of you. My own thoughts, opinions and values would take the place of needing to hear from you. I would follow my own counsel. I would chart my own course. I would plot my own destiny. I would do my own thing. In a sense, I would be like my own god. I would do what I wanted, when I wanted, when I pleased. I would walk on a path that led away from you. I certainly would not live a life that would be pleasing to you. That thought would be the farthest thing from my mind. I have no desire to live this kind of life. That’s good.
What kind of life do you want to live? I want to live a life that is good and right and pleasing to you. I want to live a life that shines like a light in this dark world. How will you do that? I will rely on you. You will help me to keep my life from being polluted by the world. How so? You will help me to remove anything from my life that is not pleasing to you. You will help me to keep a tight rein on my tongue. You will help me to think and speak in ways that are pleasing to you. Yes, I will. What else will I do for you. You will give me things to go and do for you. You will give me ways to serve you by serving others. You will make it not only my thoughts and words but also my actions demonstrate the reality and vibrance of my faith in you. Yes, I will. That will be very good. Yes, it will.
Lord, I want to live a vibrant life of faith with you. With that in mind, I will keep a tight rein on my tongue. With your help, I will keep from life from being polluted by the world. Then, I will also go and do what you ask of me. I will fulfill the ministry you give me. Amen
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