DAY 25

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Day 25: Get Rid of It

James 1:21
“Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”

Get rid of all moral filth. Not sure it gets more straightforward than that. We’re being encouraged to actually be authentic followers of Jesus, not just look like them. True discipleship means being disciplined to eradicate sin in our lives instead of finding comfortable places for it to hide.

The greek word used in this passage is apothemenoi which means to remove something as one would remove clothing. This isn’t a passive response to sin. It’s an active removal of everything that offends God – and should offend us – on our journey to holiness. The sad fact for many of us is that things don’t offend us like they should. Similar to the callouses that form on hands and feet after repeated contact with rough elements, we become calloused to the painful, harmful impacts of sin. We excuse it as not that bad. We play the comparison game with the sin of others and give ourselves a passing grade in holiness. Sometimes we even embrace that which offends God and killed Jesus. But putting away all sin can be overwhelming. Where do we even begin to conquer this evil we strive with every day? Ephesians 4:25-32 gives us some really specific ways to begin.

Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. In your anger, do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

This verse gives us two specific actions: get rid of all filth, and humbly accept the word. But we cannot humbly accept what hasn’t been planted in us.  We must become students of God’s word and be intaking as much of it as possible. It will not return void and will perform its convicting and sanctifying work in us if we’ll let it. The implanted word will aid our ongoing sanctification until we see Jesus face to face.

God, thank you for the convicting ministry of your word and how it shines a light on areas of our lives that are not pleasing to you. Give us courage to get rid of all moral filth from our lives. Increase our sensitivity to sin and help us not provide a space for it to get comfortable.