Timeless truths about religion. Today is Sunday. Of those who go to church, probably most would consider themselves religious based on the fact that they are attending church. The Bible defines what it means to be “religious.” According to the Biblical definition, there may be people who attend church whose religion is worthless.
So, how does the Bible define worthless religion? Worthless religion is self-deceptive. It lures people into thinking they are doing something of eternal value when it fact, they are not. Worthless religion is characterized by people who do not control their tongue. That means they say whatever they want to say regardless of how insensitive or caustic it may be. These people speak their mind because it is rather easy! They deceive their own heart in thinking that what they have in terms of being religious has any value. It does not.
Pure religion that has value in God’s eyes is first others oriented. This is demonstrated in a heart of compassion toward the helpless and vulnerable. Valuable religion loves those who cannot reciprocate. Meaningful religion practices self-control. This person will keep themselves “unstained by the world.” In other words, a religion that has eternal value before God makes a difference in one’s morality.
“If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” James 1:26-27 NASB