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The truth within

“So put away all filth and evil excess and humbly welcome the message implanted within you, which is able to save your souls.” [James 1:21]

Earlier when James introduced the concept of wisdom it sounded like wisdom descends from above (outside of yourself). This aligns with my deeper belief system which is not necessarily the truest but the most familiar. Now we get to look in another place for wisdom and truth: within. You have a message implanted within, an innate and divine blueprint of sorts which is your saving truth. Humbly welcome it. Yield and bow to what’s been there all along.

I looked up the word implanted (in the greek) since it’s not one I use on a regular basis. It makes me think of breast or dental implants. Anyways. Strong’s dictionary offers two definitions: 1) inborn, implanted by nature; 2) implanted by others instruction.

Either way, God (or another) implanted the truth so don’t be too proud to stoop low to look within. Our inner truth does not conveniently hang out in the surface of the soul. It’s obstructed. Our job then is to clear the inner path whatever that looks like. Put stuff away, get rid of things which hinder connecting with the inner truth.

Theologically this verse seems a little complex. Salvation in the gospel arises from outside, from Jesus without whom one is lost. Here salvation (the saving of your soul) seemingly arises from within, from embracing the truth that is already there but obstructed. So the person who looks within for the truth will save himself? So who saves? Jesus or the truth within? Perhaps they are the same? I think I am on a bit of a tangent here.

Anyways. Back to practical matters. Do I believe I carry a message worth discovering for myself? I am not totally sure. Listening is not my strongest area although I’ve improved a bunch over the years. Listening to the inner voice is a spiritual discipline which I could stand to exercise a bit more.

Perhaps I am still questioning my confidence in having life saving truth implanted deep within. What possible insight or freeing truth could reside deep within? But what if I embraced this concept more fully and leaned inward more comfortably? Would I be encouraged or confused?

A posture of humility welcomes the truth. So I’ll chose to put away whatever may block the path. I am scanning my mind for a more practical version of filth and evil excess. Toxic thinking and self absorption? An imbalanced accumulation of soul depleting surplus? No one will clear the path for me it seems although life does provide opportunities for surprise soul cleanings. Either way, I’ll travel lighter without the excess on the path to wisdom.

What’s the truth implanted within? Something along the lines of being loved and worthy of love. Forgiven and free, whole and complete. Sounds sort of cliche but things do feel different when I live from that place. I’ll keep listening. I am curious to know your inner, soul saving truth?


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