Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (ESV)
Imagine for a moment that you have a very terrible disease. Nice thought, right? You talk to the doctor and he assures you that if you come in for a surgery he can completely cure you. That's good news. So, the day comes and you go to the doctor's office, ready for the surgery that will bring your body back to perfect health.
When you step through the door of the doctor's office you are unprepared for the horrible scene that awaits you. The entire room is filled with filth! There are cockroaches crawling through bags of garbage that are strewn all over the floor. Used needles with dry caked blood are laying around. The stench in the room is overwhelming.
That's quite a mental scene I have painted for you, isn't it? James tells us to put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness. We often make the mistake of viewing our sin or vices as "not that bad." God has a very different viewpoint. God is holy. He is perfect. Any sin, no matter how small, is a vile offense to him. Our sinful habits and behaviors are repulsive and disgusting.
Oh, let's get back to our image of a surgery. James talks about the Word of God being able to save our souls. That double-edged sword of the Spirit will cut out the sickness of our sin and save us. As we approach surgery let's make sure that the area where the work is being done is clear of filth and wickedness.
Are you ready for God to do a work in you? Ask him to cleanse you of your sin. Come to him humbly, knowing that His Word is the cure for you.