If you’ve ever been to a third world country, you might observe locals carrying large jugs of water; water that they’ve gathered from a stream, or a source of natural fresh water. But what you might not realize, is that even though the water is fresh, it might not be pure. There are almost certainly pollutants and other undesirable within the water, even though it is drinkable. In America, we filter and purify our water to rid it of such pollutants. But do we do the same with our hearts? Do we filter out what is impure and allow the Spirit to continually purify us? In James chapter 1, verse 27, it says:
“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.”
I have become quite familiar with the first part of that verse; “to look after the orphans and widows in their distress”. But James tells us that we are also to keep ourselves from being polluted by the world. How polluted have you become? How much of the world’s sinful impurities have you allowed in your heart? Whatever the amount, I encourage you to allow the Holy Spirit to purify your heart; to purge the evil that has crept in from the world. Allow him to cleanse you and ask him to help you in your efforts to keep yourself from being polluted by the world. Like washing our clothes is continually needed to keep them clean, so is the washing, or cleansing, of our hearts.
James tells us that we are to keep ourselves from being polluted by the world. This is a difficult task. It is difficult because we live in the world, and the world can be enticing. But we have the Holy Spirit, we have the word of God and we have other believers who can hold us accountable and help us in our effort to avoid the pollutants of the world. We may still fall and allow ourselves to be tainted, but when we use the safeguards that God has given us, we will see the pollutants of the world for what they are. And in doing so, we can avoid them. So I encourage you to do what James says, and to do everything you can to keep yourself from being polluted by the world.