James 1:27 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.
I would like us to focus on the last thought of this verse, “to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” It involves the disparity between the lives many Christians lead and the lives scriptures call them to.
My parents had a young dogwood tree in their backyard that had pink and white flowers. The flowers were all supposed to be pink and they wondered how this could be happening. We called a family friend who had a nursery and he had the answer. He told us if we examined the trunk of the tree, we would likely see two intertwined trunks growing out of the ground. In the grafting process, somehow the natural growth (white) was able to take hold and grow along side the grafted (pink).
Sure enough, it was just as he said. We had to carefully identify which trunk was which and cut off the trunk with white flowers at the ground. If we didn’t, the natural, wild dogwood would eventually eliminate the grafted in – the pink would disappear and the tree would be entirely white. When we cut off the trunk with the white flowers, we had to be careful as we separated them and removed the white. The two “trees” were totally intertwined with each other
This is a frighteningly wonderful illustration of our lives in Christ. He intends for our lives to show forth the “pink attributes” – the grafted in desirable ones that come from walking in His ways. If we don’t live as He directs us, we produce the old nature “white attributes” – that come from being polluted by the world. If we try to have it both ways, the result is an intertwining of pink and white – righteous and unrighteous – and the unfortunate message that sends to those around us. Left undealt with, the unrighteous white will slowly replace the righteous pink.
May we live lives that only produce the righteous attributes of Him.