James 1:21a KJV
21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness
Because anger has no part in the righteousness of God, we need to put some things out of our life. These things will bring about anger in our lives as quick as anything, and they are things that we have complete control over. We also need to receive the word and graft it into our soul because it is able to save us. Let’s look at these three parts a little more carefully.
First, we need to lay apart filthiness. Interestingly, this is the only place in all the bible that this specific Greek word is used. It literally means dirt, and figuratively means moral filth that desecrates or soils the soul. This basically covers all the sins of thought, morality, actions or speech. It is a wide encompassing word. James is saying that anything one could perceive as offensive should be left out of our lives. It means dirty jokes, bad words, sexually charged language or actions, dirty thoughts etc.
We see a real outpouring of charges against those who have made unwanted sexual advances or gestures in our society today. Some of these charges go back 30 to 40 years. This shows that people have been angry about those actions taken against them for decades, and are finally gaining the strength to speak up. It also shows how pervasive this is in our world, especially among those that are powerful. I am hopeful that this outburst will show Hollywood they should clean up their productions!
In any case, removing this filthiness from our lives will help to keep us focused on more important things, which we will get to a little later.
The next thing He says to lay aside is superfluity of naughtiness. Superfluity means abundance and naughtiness means trouble, wickedness, malice or evil. There are a lot of things that fall into this category, and I am not going to try and address them all. But I am going to talk about a few that i see as trouble that many of you may not. However, if you look at them from the point of the anger they can result in, you will see where I am coming from.
The first thing if gossip. This is nothing but trouble. It speaks things that no one knows if they are true or not, and spreads them to people who have nothing to do with the situation. Gossip hurts people deeply, and many get very angry about the gossip that is passed around about them. Even prayer requests for people can be gossip if they are shared for the wrong reason “Sister Melba needs prayer for her finances. they are in terrible shape” or “Sister Cheri needs prayer for her marriage. They have been a lot”. These prayer requests sound more like gossip to me. If you are going to bring these type of requests to others, make sure the object of the request says it’s OK!
The second thing I want to address here is bringing up a troubling area with someone who can do nothing about it. This happens mostly in the workplace or in the church, or any group of people that gather together. let’s say one person is not doing their job, but just goofing off. Talking to your friends and other co-workers does nothing to solve the problem, but just causes people to take sides which makes matter worse.
When you have an issue with someone about something, you should always take it to that person or a supervisor, no one else (except maybe a spouse if it is affecting you off the job). No one else needs to know there is a problem. But we like to share our misery with other people, and that just spreads the anger. We want to feel justified n our anger, and that is pride. This also will not solve the problem unless it is brought to the right person.
There is much more we could discuss here, but these two top my list as things that happen often that we don’t give much thought to. We should! If these things come before us, we should walk away and not repeat them. If we know the person well enough, we should remind them of the correct way to talk about it. Stay out of it!
This post has taken up much more than I thought II would say, so I am going to leave the second part of this verse for the next post. Stay tuned!