Yes, it’s 3:00 a.m. and I’m writing a blog post. It’s technically Friday, even though it’s three hours earlier than I usually post. I just got home from the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 midnight premiere and I figured I would go ahead and put up the post for Friday . . . since it technically is Friday.
The verse for today is out of James. James is one of those hard-hitting books that doesn’t pull its punches and hurts with every sentence. It uses plain language and common sense truth to communicate how Christians need to live their lives.
The verse for today is James 1:21.
So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.
I’m exhausted, and I’m not really thinking clearly. But I find this verse ironic, especially right now, fresh out of the movie theatre after spending nearly 3 hours watching a movie many Christians call evil . . . based on a book series many Christians call evil.
I’m not going to go into a big Harry Potter rant here because this is neither the time nor the place. And this blog isn’t designed to promote Harry Potter. It’s designed as a place for me to share my thoughts on what God is telling me personally in His Word. And what this verse tells me this very very early morning is that we need to be very careful what we label as evil and what we label as godly.
This verse says to get rid of all filth and evil in our lives. What is evil? Well, evil is anything that contradicts God or that would cause me to stray away from God’s Word.
I find it ironic that so many Christians think Harry Potter is evil and then they turn around and are proud of themselves for standing against it. I find it ironic because they have thrown away a great story of love and redemption and sacrifice and instead donned a cloak of pride that is worse than any evil in the Harry Potter series. It’s the worst sort of hypocrisy–Christians who consider themselves better than other people because they deny themselves something or because they live a “more holy” life than others.
Now am I advocating that Harry Potter is godly? Certainly not. It’s a secular story. But it’s a story about life. And death. And dealing with life and death and loving others in spite of their faults and always always doing the right thing. And to me, while that isn’t necessarily godly, it does embody godly principles that I think are worth holding on to.
So once we’ve looked at something in our lives and come to a biblical conclusion about it–with God’s aide and not the opinions of the people around us as our guide–when we determine that something needs to go, what do we do?
We are humble about it. At least, we are supposed to be. If God tells us that a part of our lives has to go, it must go. We won’t be able to progress with our lives following Christ until that part of our life is taken care of. But do we do that?
Rarely. What usually happens is that we argue with God. We rationalize. We struggle against Him, arguing that what we’re doing or thinking or saying makes us feel better or makes us feel like we fit in or makes us feel important.
If we can’t accept what God is telling us, then we can’t move on.
But once we wrap our arms around the fact that God really does know what’s best for our lives, the path He wants us to take usually becomes clearer. And we can truly understand what He wants our lives to be.
Free. Joyful. In constant communication with Him. Intimacy with Him on a spiritual level beyond anything we think is possible.
When we chose to follow Christ, He gave us His Spirit. God’s Holy Spirit lives inside each of us, planted deep in our hearts. And just like any other planet, it will wither if you don’t take care of it. If you have accepted Christ but you refuse to make choices like a Christian, you won’t be able to live the kind of life God has designed for you.
If you let your pride get in the way or if you let religion try to tell you that you can earn God’s favor, you’ll be the one in trouble at the end of everything. And pride is a tricky thing. It can sneak into your life without you knowing it. So before we Christians walk around condemning everything we see that we don’t agree with, we really need to go back to Scripture to see if it’s really worth condemning or not.