“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27, NIV)
Today, the second of two thoughts on religion’s value.
The pollutants of the world are many: Greed, envy, a preference for form over substance, and self over others; pride, a contentious attitude, a peculiar type of laziness about spiritual things. . .
Religion that motivates its adherents to be mindful of the low and the powerless is acceptable to our heavenly Father. Does your religion motivate you in that way?
Religion that preserves its disciple in every conceivable posture of life, despite the world’s pervasive influences, pleases God. Does your religion keep you in that way? – Luther
“Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” (James 1:26, NIV)
For today and Monday, two thoughts about religion’s value.
The first thought is from verse 26 of James’ letter: A religion that is incapable of affecting something as common as our verbal interactions is worthless.
This is not to say that the religion, per se, is worthless. It says that to us, the religion we are professing is worthless, because it has failed to affect our behavior in the most simple and ordinary way.
As disciples of Jesus, if we take seriously our profession of faith, then that faith must affect our lives in not only extraordinary ways, but in ordinary ways as well; not just on the mountaintop or in the valley (for these are temporary extremes in human experience), but on the boring, level plain, too. – Luther