“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).
Personal integrity and personal responsibility are key points of teaching throughout the scriptures, but they are never more clearly stated than here in this opening section of the epistle of James where he describes our religion.
“Pure” and “undefiled” refer to a religion that is free from contamination by man-made ideas—it is a religion from Jesus that we fully embrace and that we commit to personally. Wicked influences surround us, but we must exercise the good judgment to recognize these influences for what they are and to keep ourselves a significant distance from them.
Rather than becoming contaminated with the wickedness around us, we keep ourselves “unspotted” from it; and, as well, we accept all opportunities to help others who have special needs.