Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. - James 1:27
Our religion, or our belief system, is pure and undefiled when it is free from external pollutants. In other words, the world has not stained a pure and undefiled faith with its lies and deceit. There are no idols or immoral behavior, there is no self-focus, no jealousy, no judgment, and no control. It is the faith God calls us to have in this world.
James gives an example in this verse of what that kind of faith looks like in action - to visit orphans and widows. Visit in this context is more than just a quick chat over a cup of coffee, it means to look in on, to care for their needs, to support them in their struggles in tangible ways. Orphans and widows have one thing in common - they have lost their support system. They will endure the same trials in life that we will, but they have lost the people who were placed in their lives to walk through their trials with them. As a body of believers, it is our responsibility to pick up that burden. God calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves, and visiting orphans and widows puts that plan into action.
Don’t misunderstand that He is only asking us to care for orphans and widows, or that this is the only way to refine your faith - James is simply giving an example of how to fulfill our purpose in this verse. Your life should be about serving people who need your help - any people - this is how you live out your faith.
The world is corrupt and broken. It is full of deceit and sin. To keep oneself unstained by this world is to keep sin from making us unclean. Make no mistake about it - the world is full of temptation that wants to lure you into sin. It challenges our belief system by corporately convincing us sinful actions are right or justified, and it is so sneaky that we don’t even recognize when this is happening. Keeping oneself unstained by the world is our daily challenge. We can only accomplish this by being so saturated by the Word that we recognize when sin is at our doorstep. And when we are busy caring for the broken people in this world, sin has far less of a chance to stain our faith.
Press on, ladies ~ you are loved 💗
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