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Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. James 1:21

James, who was probably writing primarily to Jewish converts to Christianity who were dispersed abroad (James 1:1), wanted them to understand that their trials could produce lasting spiritual results because the testing of their faith would produce endurance (v. 3). He wanted them to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger (v. 19).

Building on that thought, he told them to put aside all filthiness and other forms of wickedness as they humbly received the Word of God. Putting off wickedness isn’t something you do in your flesh. The flesh cries out for wickedness. Instead, putting it off comes as you hear, read, meditate on, and submit to the Word of God. Receiving it in humility means not arguing with it or justifying your sin when the Word confronts it, and repenting.

You will never fully escape the pull of wickedness in this world, but the degree to which you struggle with it equates to the amount of time you spend interacting with and submitting to the Word of God. If the world’s pull is stronger than it should be in your life now, find more time to hide the Word in your heart so you won’t sin against God (see Psalm 119:11).

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