From James 1:21 (AMP) comes the Verse of the Day for July 16, 2016, telling us what we should do:
So get rid of all uncleanness and all that remains of wickedness, and with a humble spirit receive the word [of God] which is implanted [actually rooted in your heart], which is able to save your souls.
The English Standard Version renders the verse this way:
James 1:21 (ESV)
21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
The Verse of Day is one of a number scriptures that encourage believers to “get rid” or “put away” or change certain behaviors that are unprofitable. Similar expressions are used throughout the Old Testament whereby God strongly admonishes the Children of Israel to put away evil or idolatrous practices, particularly when they leave Egypt and enter into the Promised Land. Later in the opening verses of the Book of Isaiah, the prophet offers this exhortation:
Isaiah 1:16 (NKJV)
“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil,
Job 11:13-15 speaks of the personal benefits that result from putting away evil:
13 “Yet if you devote your heart to him
and stretch out your hands to him,
14 if you put away the sin that is in your hand
and allow no evil to dwell in your tent,
15 then, free of fault, you will lift up your face;
you will stand firm and without fear.
In the New Testament we see that putting off or putting away evil thoughts is part of the renewing of our minds, the ongoing process in every believer whereby the Word of God teaches us to
Put off the old. Put on the new and leave the past behind.
Follow Christ and be renewed in the spirit of your mind.
As believers, we are encouraged to change of our minds and develop new thinking patterns. In the same way that we change garments every day, we are to put off the old man and to put on the new man, as we put away lying or any other ungodly practices. Instead of continuing in the direction that habitually takes us away from presence of God, Colossians 3:8 in the Holman Christian Standard Bible tells us how to behave:
But now you must also put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth.
In Ephesians 4:22-25 (NKJV) we find a similar exhortation:
22 That you put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24 And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another.
Here is the same passage in the New Living Translation:
22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. 25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body.
Likewise Ephesians 4:31 (AMP) reiterates the message:
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor [perpetual animosity, resentment, strife, fault-finding] and slander be put away from you, along with every kind of malice [all spitefulness, verbal abuse, malevolence].
The heart of the matter regarding renewing the mind involves action where each believer must “put off, put on, and put away,” while
Moving in the Opposite Spirit
Quit backbiting—God doesn’t want to hear it.
Don’t retaliate—move in the opposite spirit.
“Bump it up!”
And do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that you may prove what is that good and acceptable
and perfect will of God.
Moving in the opposite spirit, not in hate
But walking in love, being kind, tenderhearted;
Not being anxious but learning to patiently wait;
To quench the fiery tongue before it gets started;
Never spewing venom but with our mouths confess
The truth of the Word of God that we might make known
What God declares we are, to always seek to bless
And reap a great harvest from good seed that is sown;
To reverse the curse and counter iniquity.
God orders our steps, and we choose the path of peace,
Not to seek revenge but pray for each enemy,
For all giving assures that favor will increase;
Renewed in the spirit of our mind night and day,
Being transformed “to put off, put on, put away.”
As followers of Christ, each day we must heed this triple exhortation, recalling the lyrics to “May the Mind of Christ My Savior” by Jake Armerding.