Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means ... refusing to let the world corrupt you. James 1:27
It is actually very difficult not to be corrupted by the world. We are surrounded daily by actions, sounds and images which are far from pure. In a crowded world we rub up against people who's morality and culture are contrary to the gospel and we are constantly being told that our beliefs are outdated or even bigoted.
This frequent repetition can wear away at our core values like waves of the sea against the shoreline, gradually undermining the rock on which we stand.
We begin to think it's OK to borrow a pen from our workplace, to under-represent our income on our tax return or to watch a film with a scene of explicit sexual imagery. We no longer are offended by the misuse of the name of God and even begin to do the same ourselves. We follow the fashion rather than dressing modestly. We judge, criticise and gossip. Instead of running from sin we tiptoe close to the edge and then wonder why we find our foot slipping as the ground gives way beneath us.
The gospel of Christ is a gospel of repentance, which literally means turning through 180 degrees and going in the opposite direction. This is a choice we have to make - to build our lives on the rock which is the teaching of Jesus (Matt 7:24-25). In order to do this we must be constantly measuring our lives against the word of God, bringing our sins to Him, asking for forgiveness and for the Holy Spirit to empower us to live a godly life.
We cannot avoid being in the world but we do not have to let the world be in us.