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.
Now don't think I am trying to downplay the importance of the beginning part of the verse or any such thing, but I have found it interesting how often the second part of the verse is overlooked. 'To keep oneself from being polluted by the world'.
This has really hit me. First, through a friend telling me about a dream she had recently that involved a shopping mall and her trying to resist buying stuff while me and some other friends dove right into the racks and got lost.
Oops. Its true. I love to shop when I get the opportunity.
But I am also reading the book called 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker. For seven months she focused on seven areas of her life; food, clothes, possessions, media, waste, spending, and stress. For example, with clothing, for 31 days she only wore seven articles of clothing and documented how she felt and what she discovered. This book is really forcing me to look at my own life and how I might be becoming polluted by the world. I don't have that many items of clothing, but I do use them to hide behind, and a lot of what I have I hardly wear. I waste too much food and take so much of it for granted. I went a week without Facebook once, but email and Netflix?? Yikes!!
I don't know where 7 will lead me or where James will lead me, but I know Jesus WILL lead me (pull me, or even drag me) to where I need to be. I want more and more possessions, but I also want more and more quality time in my life. I don't think I can have both.
The result?? I still have no idea.
But I hope you will at least stop to consider the second half of this verse. Stop and think about how immersed you are in this world, and how the Church is immersed in this world. And try to think of at least one, itsy bitsy thing to do about it.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:...to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.