James 1:27 (my paraphrase)
“True religion is caring for widows and orphans in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”
I laughed while sitting in church listening to our Pastor ask us to identify and share a verse that has been impactful for a time or season in our lives, “You don’t need to go get a tattoo of it, just identify it, then share it.” Whelp, I laughed because I do have a tattoo of it.
#myverse is James 1:27
I’m an enneagram 9w8. So when an authority figure is telling me to do something I naturally decide I’m not doing it until I’m good and ready. The talk series is now over and I’m finally ready to share mine.
#myverse has two parts. Two commands which I have taken seriously in my life, although not perfectly executed, and despite truly anguishing circumstances and personal confusion.
The first part of this verse has significance for me in more than one way. Ever since I can remember, I’ve had this desire to understand people. To accept them. To encourage them. To show them they are valued and accepted. I identify with a God who commands followers to help others and to care for “the least of us.” So when life circumstances presented an opportunity for me to put my words and convictions into action, I did. My husband and I adopted a teen. I am forever connected to a God who not only requires that we care for people less fortunate than us, but then also gives us opportunities to do so. I am forever connected to a God who tells me to do this not because of what I have to offer those people. But because of how it changes me in the process.
I used to think the second part of this verse was speaking about the world from an “us-vs-them” approach. The Christians and the non-Christians. The better ones and the others. And I honestly didn’t like that part of this verse. In actuality, the verse is speaking directly to me and how I should view my own soul. It speaks from a perspective that declares that this physical world is not my home. My soul is not meant to only exist here, on this planet, in this body. It’s a call to remember that fact. That this wold is not my home. The memory of that fact is critical. Because the moment I forget it, is the moment I let things start to slip. I begin to think that all the things I’m doing are about me. And that I’m the most important thing. I am valued. I am worthy. But I’m not better than anyone else. The “world” is not people. The “world” is the condition I’m n, here on this planet, in this body. The "world" is the one that pushes me to believe I’m better (pride). And then it trashes me for it the next second (guilt.)