Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. —James 1:21
During our renewal process we really need to understand what is imperative to our growth. We can’t possibly focus on every area of our spiritual walk at one time, so it’s vital we know what the “big deals” are to God. The only way to ever really know is to look to the Word of God and to beware of assuming. James, in his book, explains two “big deals” to God. He begins in the first chapter at the twenty first verse by declaring we should put away all filthiness and wickedness. It’s critical that we know exactly what it is that he’s talking about so we aren’t left guessing.
The Greek word for filthiness is the word raparian and it means “obnoxiously filthy”.* Now jump forward to James 2 and read verses 1–7. Note the two different men he was talking about in the story. He was referring to two different groups of people in the church: one group being of nice appearance and the other group, filthy dirty. Reading verse 2 he says, “For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in…”
Comparing James 1:21 and James 2:2 you will find the words “vile” and “filthiness” coming from the same Greek word. The Greek word raparian portrays a man whose body and clothes are so foul, the stench is evident to everyone around him. It literally takes their breath away!
This is exactly the word James uses to describe the bad attitudes of the believer. It stinks in such a way that everyone around us can smell it. It’s like wearing a piece of clothing that is so filthy, it’s impossible to get clean. When we have a negative, pessimistic, uncooperative, cynical or indifferent attitude, it just plain STINKS! And it’s evident to those around us whether we admit it or not. It can’t be ignored and we can literally drive people away from us!
*Renner, Rick. Sparkling Gems (Page 19) Published 2003. Print.