There are many truths in this verse in James. This time, let’s focus on just two of them.
First, this passage commands us to “lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness”. The text uses a special Greek word for “filthiness”: It is the word ruporia, which comes from the root word rupos. This word had a special medical application in the Greek language: it meant a “waxy buildup in the ear”.
So, with this “word picture” in mind, it is clear that the Holy Spirit is warning us that we are to rid ourselves of anything that can block our ability to hear God’s Word. The collecting up, or accumulation, of man’s sins can make him deaf to God. Attitudes of unforgiveness self-righteousness, hatred, anger, and pride and judgmentalism -along with the more obvious sins of sexual immorality, drunkenness, lying and stealing – can all cause spiritual “deafness”.
This kind of deafness is hard to fix because it blocks out one of the most important “medicines” for a cure – the Word of God! Scripture exhorts us to clean out our spiritual ears and keep them dean. This truth gives us new insight into what Jesus may have meant when He said, “For him who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Matt 11:15).
Only One Lord
A second great truth is in the phrase “receive with weakness” . The word “meekness” or “meek” is often misinterpreted by the world as “weakness” or “weak “. But the term actually means the opposite. To be meek means to “have power or strength under control”. Now why would the Holy Spirit choose “meekness” to represent the attitude of our heart when we are receiving the Word of God?
God created us, and took on human flesh and lived among us; therefore, He knows what our flesh will try to do. Our “flesh”, or old sin nature, will try to block the whole Word of God: and receive only the part we like. Our “old ma n” (see Ephesians 4:22-24) wants to take the Word of God and twist it to fit our own liking or advantage.
There can be only one Lord of your heart, and it will be either you or Jesus Christ. How we treat His Word and apply it to our Jives will reveal who sits on the throne of our hearts (see John 8:47). Either we will make excuses for ourselves and justify our sin -or we will be strong in God and allow the Holy Spirit to use God’s Word to convict, break, mold and shape us according to God’s desire.
“Receive with meekness·· tells us to take the seed of God’s Word and let it be planted deeply into our hearts. We are to let it take root in us and produce much fruit. We must provide good soil in our hearts into which the Word of God can be planted. We cannot allow “weeds” to grow up around it and choke out the life of the Word growing in us. We must rise up in the strength of God – under His Lordship and control -and resist the things that would oppose the Word of God being planted into our lives.