“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit the orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” - James 1:27
If you are a parent then you understand the difficulty of keeping yourself from the stains of your child. Projectile vomiting and diaper blowouts tend to be common challenges of parenthood. The timing is never good and that nice outfit that was recently purchased is soaking in the sink hoping to be purified from the infant eruption.
It is a difficult work to keep oneself unstained. The world around us fills us our minds with confusion and tempts our hearts with seduction. Our mind needs washed with the water of the Word (Ephesians 5:26) and our heart’s affection should be given to the only one worthy of it. The world loves to defile, to stain or spoil the life of a child of God.
When this happens we feel dirty, rotten, and it can lead us to doubt and depression. We feel like failures and start to believe the lie that we are unworthy to be loved by God because we no longer are pure. The lie tells us our stains now define us and God doesn’t want us. We are too dirty and rotten for a holy, pure God to love anymore. This is the devilish lie that affects so many Christians today.
We can fight this attack in two ways. First we listen to what James tells us and we pursue keeping ourselves unstained from the world. By doing this we remove the ammunition from the enemy. He has nothing to use against us. Second, we believe, trust, and walk by faith in the purifying work of Jesus Christ. Just like those clothes soaking in the sink, we soak in the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross. We soak in his love and forgiveness remembering we were unworthy in the first place. We didn’t earn salvation, it is a gift of a self-sacrificing God who takes broken people and makes them whole.