Recently I was browsing in a store (not shopping, but killing time while my wife shopped) and there were a couple children running amuck through the store. Without looking up from her examining of an item, she would yell at them to stop running whenever they passed her. They ignored her completely. She began turning the volume up, but did not make any move to discipline them. Finally, she stopped what she was doing turned to them and called them naughty kids, then returned to her perusing of stuff. That really made a difference – not. I meandered to another part of the store shaking my head.
The word “naughty” doesn’t carry the same connotation these days as James meant when he penned this book. It means “wickedness” which drives the point home for me. To say “you naughty boy” sounds more like a joke. At the very least it minimizes his behavior, making it sound almost cute.
Everywhere I go there is immorality and a super abundance of naughtiness. James admonishes me to throw my immorality and my overabundance of wickedness in the dumpster.
Since that leaves a void in my life he tells me to receive the engrafted Word with meekness. Just as a branch is grafted into a tree of a different species, the Word was grafted into this world. It isn’t a natural part of wickedness and immorality.
It’s interesting to me how sin brings arrogance and pride, but Godliness brings meekness and humility. I am learning that when I put aside my sin and turn to the Word, I have a repentant attitude and do so with meekness.
“Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” James 1:21
© copyright Kevin T Boekhoff