Skip to main content

James 1:26: If Anyone Who Thinks He Is Religious And Does Not Bridle His Tongue

James 1:26
[26] If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. (ESV)

I remember pastoring a church where there was an elderly woman who was notorious for using her tongue to destroy people. I can remember her calling me stupid from her front row seat while I was preaching. No, I am not making this up. I wish I was. Her tongue was a vicious weapon that was used to destroy many.

There was something else about this woman. She felt that she was very religious. If you were to question her about her vile mouth she would have rattled off her religious pedigree. She had been an esteemed member of the church for many years. She was "respected" in her community. She even used her voice to sing in the choir!

Let me take a moment to make an assessment on this woman's "religion." It was worthless! All of the singing she did meant nothing. Her church membership was irrelevant. Her list of accomplishments impressed herself, not the Lord. Her heart was full of sin. James makes it very clear that a person like this is self-deceived.

The sad reality is that there are far too many people who live lives of self-deception. They have convinced themselves of their great religion, but the one whose opinion really matters has already declared their religion worthless. The other problem is that there are people in the church who should hold these kind of people accountable for their worthless religion. But they often do not.

Do some self-evaluation today. Imagine if others listened to your words all day. Would they be drawn to glorify God as a result? Or would they be sickened by your worthless religion?


Popular posts from this blog

Romans 8:18: For I Consider That The Sufferings Of This Present Time Are Not Worth Comparing

Romans 8:18 [18] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV) Perspective. What an important word. Let's be honest. We do not like the idea of suffering. We will do almost anything to avoid any kind of suffering. Some churches have gone so far as to preach against the idea of suffering, declaring it to not be a part of the true believer's life. Paul is not shy about the topic. Paul uses the sufferings of this present time as a means to consider the greater glory that awaits us. Perspective. Paul is not in any way attempting to diminish our suffering. A view toward eternity puts our suffering in a proper understanding. Yes, our suffering is terrible. In the grand scheme of eternity it is not even worth comparison. Maybe you are thinking that Paul does not know what he is talking about when it comes to suffering. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul describes countless beatings, often near death,

Romans 15:14: I Myself Am Satisfied About You, My Brothers

Romans 15:14 [14] I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. (ESV) The Apostle Paul was a strong man. His words to the churches in all of his letters are full of doctrinal truth and instruction that are not for the faint of heart. In this letter to the church at Rome he had to correct them in their understanding of how to deal with issues that could potentially divide them. Paul had never even been to Rome yet. He had not met these believers. Paul is telling the church at Rome in this verse that the reason they were able to receive his strong words was because of their spiritual maturity. He declares that they are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. This is an incredible compliment that Paul would not offer to every church. This concept of being filled with goodness and knowledge speaks of a group of believers who had listened to t

Romans 15:22: This Is The Reason Why I Have So Often Been Hindered From Coming To You.

Romans 15:22 [22] This is the reason why I have so often been hindered from coming to you. (ESV) Paul was quite the traveler. As an Apostle to the Gentiles his task was literally to take the Gospel to the entire known world at the time. Many of the Epistles that Paul writes are letters written to places where he has already been. He preached the Gospel, many were saved, churches were planted, and Paul moved on to a new area. Rome was a place that Paul had never been to. He writes this entire letter to people whom he had never met. As an Apostle to the Gentiles he wanted to give them the good solid teaching they needed to grow in their faith. Likely, someone who was converted on the Day of Pentecost went back to Rome and first shared the Gospel there. Paul says that he has been often hindered from coming to Rome. He could have argued that all kinds of circumstances would not permit him to get to Rome. Paul would not have blamed circumstances. He would have understood that it w