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Trashy Living

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this…to keep himself unspotted from the world. James 1:27

On a scale from one to ten, what level of crazy (or desperate) do you think someone would have to be to go dig through the county dump to find their dinner? Most normal people do their grocery shopping at a grocery store, and they wouldn’t dream of going to the dump for groceries. I have to admit, amongst all that trash, there are possibly some unopened packages of discarded food that may still be good. In fact, a person sifting through all that garbage may actually find enough unadulterated food to make a couple of meals. What most people couldn’t stomach is all the “stuff” around that package. I’m not trying to gross you out, but I don’t think I could bear the stench of rotting trash, the maggots nesting in it, or the slop of half-eaten food mingled with spoiled drinks. I would rather pay a few dollars at the grocery store for a nicely packaged meal surrounded by other nicely packaged meals than get for free all the “extras” that would come with something harvested at the dump.

As crazy or desperate as it sounds for someone to go to the dump for dinner, many Christians do the same thing every day in their spiritual lives. Teenagers seem especially prone to the thinking associated with the world’s dump, but anyone can fall into that trap. They know that most of the world’s music, movies, internet material, and associations are wrong, yet they continually sift through it. The most common excuse is that, just as one might occasionally find something worth eating at the dump, there are some good songs, good movies, or even good friends that may come from their search. The detrimental part to them is all the trash they have to sift through just to find that one good thing. The truth is, the explanation they give for listening to that music (looking for the good song) is just an excuse to listen to all the wicked ones. In the process of looking for something worth listening to, they are exposing themselves to so many more things that are harmful to their spiritual health.

A man could not search through the dump without getting some of that trash on his feet, clothes, and hands; and a Christian cannot sift through the world’s filth without picking up just a little of the world each time he goes there. A man searching the dump may only be looking for edible food, but he will come out smelling like the dump. Likewise, a Christian who spends his days searching through the world’s trashy content will come out on the other side smelling like the world. In the end, it is only desperation that keeps people going back. Determine to stay away from the world’s filth and keep yourself unspotted from the world.

Read also: James 1:21-27

Quote of the day: "The world at its worst needs the church at its best.”

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