Unspotted From the World


dry barren land

Photo by taigasylvan

James 1:27

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

Ok, sounds good, but what exactly does it mean to keep oneself unspotted from the world, and how would one do that?

Considering the above scripture, it seems to have something to do with remaining or becoming pure and undefiled.

Well, what does it mean to be pure and undefiled?

Basically it means the opposite of being tainted and defiled, or dirty. It means living in this world without being tainted or dirtied by it. It means looking and striving for the home that’s beyond this world and life. It means walking a different path than most of the inhabitants of this earth.

If it were only that easy, right?

I think the biggest two culprits that put spots on us is the breaking of the 1st and 10th Commandments. If you believe the 10 Commandments no longer apply, we can get into that another time, but for now just humor me. 🙂

The 1st Commandment states, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, you shall have no other gods before Me”. And the 10th Commandment states, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” Pretty simple and strait forward, right?

What do you say we look at each of these separately, and see if we might not be in need of a can of spot remover in our lives?

Our first reaction is probably to say, “I don’t have any other gods before the true God. I would never think of such a thing”. Of course we wouldn’t! Not intentionally anyway.

So, let’s ask ourselves, how much time do we spend each day considering the things of God? How many times a day do we ask God for His counsel or guidance? How many times a day do we ask ourselves, “How would God want me to deal with this situation?” How often do we ask God how we might help or serve another? Do we get as excited thinking about God as we do our favorite sports figures or actors? Do we look forward to our time with God with the same anticipation as we have for watching our favorite TV shows?

I wish I saw people exert half the zeal for God as many do when they talk about Lebron James and other big sports figures.

We’re all guilty of it. We are all flawed imperfect people who would be but filthy rags if not for Christ. Our God is an awesome God though, who understands our back sliding, and getting caught up in the world. That’s why He sends us friendly reminders like the one you’re reading right now. The one I felt I needed to write as much as I need to read. Our God is a jealous God, and will not play second string to Lebron James or any other person or thing in this world. And there will come a time when He will grow tired of falling below the number one place in our lives.

Another big way we become spotted by this world is by the breaking of the 10th Commandment. You know the one about coveting. We all lose focus from time to time, but some people are so driven by their wants and desires that they really have no room for God.

Now I want to be clear, there is nothing wrong with desiring some nice things or striving to better our lives. The problem comes when we become obsessed or driven by those things. God wants us to be happy, and enjoy the blessings that can come from hard work and creativity. But He doesn’t want our lives to be about possessions, and how much stuff we can accumulate. You see, the more you possess, the more those things possess your time and thoughts.

I was talking with a really smart lady about possessions a few weeks ago, and she said something that made a lot of sense to me. She said that she was actually happier overall when she had less. Many people might find that statement rather odd, but I understood it completely. Her reasoning was she had less to worry about, and more time to enjoy her family and the simple things in life. Now she’s in a position of great responsibility that consumes much of her time. She has much more, but less time to enjoy it with the one’s she loves.

We live in a society and culture that worships things. We are bombarded with messages that we deserve and need this, that and the other thing. The family unit is dying in this country and we have become more and more selfish and self-focused as a culture. When the focus becomes all about us and the stuff we desire, there’s little time to focus on God.

Do you want that pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father? Do you want to keep yourself unspotted from the world? Well, if you do, I have just the prescription for you.

Rx: Put God 1st in your life. Spend more time thinking about others. Be more grateful for what you already have, and remember that its people and not things that are truly important.

  • Put God first. Spend time thinking of others. That would solve a whole lot of issues if we did just that.

    • Mike Shanta

      If we want a happy relationship with God we have to do the same things we do to have happy marriages and relationships with others. Not be selfish. We have to let go of the me attitude and be about others. Thanks Bill!

  • The things we seek to own in this flesh are traps; the end up owning us! I know, I’ve been there and done that. It is a matter of the heart, but it shows up to our Father who sees our actions, but more importantly the heart behind our actions. Good one, Mike.

    • Mike Shanta

      I try to look at everything I have as on loan. 🙂 It all belongs to God, and He happily shares it with us if we have the right attitude. Thanks Floyd!

  • Sue :)

    I want to be unspotted! Thank goodness Jesus can clean me up – I know I can’t do it myself!

    • Mike Shanta

      Well put!

  • I think whenever allow ourselves to think that our satisfaction, wholeness, contentment and fulfilment can be found anywhere other than Him we end up on shaky ground. I think it’s this misplaced belief – a form of unbelief, I guess – that leads us to covet, envy etc. We start thinking that there is something out there, that others have, that would bring us the sense of satiety we seek. But the truth is only Jesus can provide this. And he makes himself readily available whenever we choose to turn to Him and commit time to being with Him. Everything we need and all that can be desired is in Him. It can be so easy for us to forget that.

    • MIke

      You’re so right. I was just watching a commercial on TV tonight and thinking, boy we have our priorities all wrong. It’s all about what clothes we wear and how we look. So many people trying to fill that void that only Christ can fill, and they are trying to fill it with a look and image. Sad times!