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James 1:21 (NKJV)

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the
implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

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Bible Commentary

James 1:21 is a Bible verse from the New Testament that gives us the last word on why we endure trials in our lives.

As children of God, we are continually growing and learning to be more and more like Jesus Christ from walking closely with Him and abiding in His Word, the Bible.

Many times, we learn through the trials in our lives. God has good in mind for us through each one of them (Romans 8:28). Just like clay, He molds and shapes us into the image of Christ.

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When we learn what God wants to teach us through the trial, it produces humility in us. We recognize that He is God and we are not. He will always have the last word in our lives.

He is a loving Father, but firm. We must remember that righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne (Psalm 89:14). Though He is merciful and kind, He insists that we live in righteousness.


James 1:21 can be viewed as the bottom line—the answer to our questions in the midst of a trial.

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

Hopefully, we seek God in the midst of the trial and ask what it is He wants to teach us through it. He makes it very clear to us personally what He is burning out of us through the trial. Maybe there is a darkness in our hearts that needs to be exposed, so we can see it.

Unlocking the Truth - From Weed to Seed

The pain of a trial can reveal all kinds of things, if we only seek the truth and His righteousness. Just like a Master Gardener, He prunes those things that are useless in our lives, just like cutting away a weed from a beautiful rose bush.

He desires for us to yield fruit, and sometimes it takes a purging of some kind in order for the beauty to emerge. As we seek Him in the trial, He reveals the implanted word, something of Biblical truth fixed in our mind that He calls to remembrance.

Then we must receive it with meekness—humility, as James 1:21 says. We must humble ourselves and accept His truth, turn away from the filthiness and overflow of wickedness that has been unearthed, and then receive the implanted word. The Word is then planted where there was wickedness. Righteousness replaces the filthiness.


The trial was the thing that exposed the weed, so that it could be pulled and a seed of beauty could be planted in its place. Be patient as the roots from the weed are removed; it can take time. But something beautiful comes from the newly planted seed, where there was only a weed before.

The Lord is ever so loving in His ways. It might not seem like it at times, but His love for us far exceeds His judgement. Look at the last part of James 1:21.

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.


“Save” in the Greek means: heal, preserve, be whole. Whatever we’re going through, the result of receiving healing in our souls is so worth it. To be whole on the inside is highly valuable, not only to us, but to the God Who created us.

The implanted word is able to save our souls. Note He doesn’t say it saves our souls, but it is able to save our souls. The choice is up to us. We choose whether or not to receive it, whether or not to humble ourselves, whether or not to learn the lesson, whether or not to receive His righteousness, and whether or not to receive more of Him.

He has good in mind--for you, for me, for all of us. Study the Bible verse of James 1:21 and recognize the implanted word and receive it with meekness so He can save your soul.



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