Thinking of yourself as 'religious' is great, but there is something more that God is after.
Published April 5th, 2017
Thoughts from James 1:26-27 -- Almost everyone likes to think of themselves as religious (or spiritual these days) -- it is a nice thought to have about ourselves. But just thinking that about ourselves doesn't actually make it true. Especially in the case of talk -- we easily deceive ourselves when all of our religiosity consists of talk that is unbridled, which really means to not have a governor over it to lead it. We will inevitably have our sinful desires leading our tongue if God is not the governor of our tongue So James gives some signs of people who don't just talk about being religious, but are pure before God in their religion Those that visit the marginalized (orphans and widows) -- those that are traumatized, afflicted, distressed, and in need of care and comfort in this world And those that keep themselves from being unstained by the world -- that is worldly desires (see 1 John 2:15-17). To look and see someone who is truly religious, you probably won't hear it from them -- you'll hear it from the people they're helping and visiting, and you'll see it in their life
Main point summary
If you don't want your religion to be worthless, then bridle your tongue, visit the marginalized, and keep yourself from worldly desires.
If anyone thinks he is religious
IF someone likes to think of themselves as a religious person
q and does not bridle his tongue
AND does not tightly rein in his words
but deceives his heart,
BUT is actually deceiving his heart of his religiosity
this person’s r religion is worthless.
THEN this person's religiousness is completely wasted.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this:
Here's what true and pure religion before God, our Father, looks like:
s to visit t orphans and widows in their affliction,
first, to visit the marginalized (orphans and widows) in their distress and affliction
and u to keep oneself v unstained from the world.
and second, to keep yourself from being influenced by sinful, worldly desires.