This passage shows that religion that is pure is a product of the condition of our heart.
Published November 12th, 2017
Main point summary
Religion that is pure is not boastful or quick to speak, but rather involves action towards those in need and vigilance in guarding one's heart from sin.
If anyone thinks he is religious
If anyone thinks he is obeying the law
q and does not bridle his tongue
And does not guard his mouth from evil
but deceives his heart,
But rather does not believe with his heart,
this person’s r religion is worthless.
Then this person is not religious at all.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this:
On the contrary , obedience to the law that is pure before God is this:
s to visit t orphans and widows in their affliction,
To care for the orphans and widows when they are in need,
and u to keep oneself v unstained from the world.
And to guard one's heart from being blemished and without peace.
I love this passage, because having grown up in a home that is seen as religious, this is a reminder that religion that is pure and pleasing to God involves serving others and being vigilant to guard my heart, which is the wellspring of life. It also struck me that this positive/negative relationship highlights action over words. First in speaking about what religion is not, it says we deceive our heart with an unbridled tongue. Then when it speaks about what religion is, it talks about guarding against being stained by the world and serving those in need.