"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
When James 1:27 began to have an impact on me, I often left off the last part because I did not think that it fit?
That was back when I thought I was a nice person - which was a result of not being really tested as well as an unbelievable amount of self-deception!!
Then my wife and I adopted, and we were thrown into a fire that we had no idea was coming and that completely overwhelmed us! We learned one thing very quickly: we no longer had time for our former lifestyle! We were in up to our necks and going down fast. The only thing that we had time for was survival! Of course, that did not mean that we stopped sinning! As a matter of fact, we probably increased our sin output! But it was different because we were trying to follow God's lead, and we were going through the refining fire! We were learning that giving does not come out of our abundance. We were forced to give when we had nothing left. Don't get me wrong - it was not a pretty sanctification - it was downright UGLY!
So what does it mean to be unpolluted by the world? Here is my thinking about being polluted by the world in America in the present day:
Our response to the need for fostering and adopting is "What would the impact be on my family?" We don't ask ourselves, "What the impact would be for the fatherless if we don't?" Or even "What will be the impact on our families if we tell them the same thing we have been telling ourselves (see the bullet points above). What kind of Christians will we be molding our children to be?
Before I go too far down the road on fostering and adopting, I want to say loudly that I truly believe that not everyone needs to foster and adopt, but - as the saying goes in the Christian orphan care world - Everyone Can Do Something.