James 1:26-27 ESV
26 If anyone thinks he is religious q and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s r religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: s to visit t orphans and widows in their affliction, and u to keep oneself v unstained from the world.
Devotional Thought: Test Your Faith 1 Corinthians 13:5 says to "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!" Scripture provides us many examples of what it looks like to be a Christian vs. what it does not look like. In James' letter to a group of Jewish Christians he says that "religion that is pure" is to "visit orphans and widows" and to "keep oneself unstained from the world", whereas "religion [that] is worthless" looks like "not bridl[ing] [your] tongue". So ask yourself, which is more prominent in your life? A love in action for orphans and widows, and fighting to keep yourself spotless from sin, or a loose tongue? My greatest fear is for after I die, Jesus to tell me, " I never knew you; depart from me, you worker[s] of lawlessness." (Matthew 7:23). Do not live your life believing a lie--thinking you are a Christian when you indeed are not. Let us test ourselves often to make sure our religion is "pure and undefiled before God".
Main point summary
One sign of true faith in Jesus is love for the helpless and hatred of sin. One sign of empty faith in Jesus is a loose tongue.
If anyone thinks he is religious
If you think you are a follow of Christ
q and does not bridle his tongue
and you do not control your tongue
but deceives his heart,
the result is you are deceiving yourself.
this person’s r religion is worthless.
In other words, you are not a Christian.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this:
On the other hand, true followers of Christ worship God like this:
s to visit t orphans and widows in their affliction,
that is, by visiting orphans and widows in their affliction,
and u to keep oneself v unstained from the world.
and keeping yourself free from sin.
Pure worship of God is visiting orphans and widows and keeping you heart away from sin.
If you think you are a worshiper of God, but you do not control your tongue, you are deceiving yourself--your religion is worthless.
hold in check/restrain