40 Days of Words

Dr Jim Brown's TruNorth Devotional
40 Days of Words
Day 24|IS YOUR RELIGION WORTHLESS? | James 1:26
IS YOUR RELIGION WORTHLESS?

James 1:26
“If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.” (NLT)


The book of James – written by the half-brother of Jesus – has many practical statements in it such as this one.

Once again – and we see it throughout both the Old and New Testaments – our WORDS are important.

I’m always reminded that we are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26) and that God used HIS words to create everything that is (read Genesis 1).

Thus, our words have creative – and destructive – capabilities too.  Obviously, we’re not God, but being made in His image does give our words more power – good and bad – than most people (even Christians) – realize.

James is writing here – under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit – that IF we don’t control our tongues… our religion is worthless.

In James’ time, “religious” referred to those actions at a ceremonial public worship service.  James was trying to emphasize that the external trappings, rituals, and routines someone MAY have been sincerely trying to follow, were of no value if he (or she) also had a run-away-tongue.

Another translation of this verse uses the phrase: “purity of heart,” which makes sense since we know that “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”  (Luke 6:45) Thus, if trash comes out of one’s mouth, it is a sure sign that this is what is IN that person’s heart (or mind).

And the solution to keep the “heart” (or mind) from being filled with trash is…  to STOP dumping trash into your thinking and spend more time with the Lord, His people, and in His Word.

Prayer: LORD, make me aware of when my tongue is out of control.  And help me to spend MORE TIME with You, your Word, and your people. Amen.
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