James 1:26-27 New King James Version (NKJV)
26) If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. 27) Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
If I don’t bridle my tongue, I deceive myself and my religion is USELESS? WOW!!!
You know, every non-Christian knows exactly how a Christian is supposed to act and speak. They know especially well, the things we are NOT supposed to do and say. If we understand that the purpose of our religion is to lead others to Christ, it is easy to see how an unbridled tongue could render us useless in drawing people to the Lord.
A filthy mouth always hinders our relationship with the Lord. Jesus says that it’s not what goes into our mouth’s that defiles it but what comes out. He also taught that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
Do you see the spiritual implications there? It’s not just a few little curse words, a little harmless joke, or a momentary bad attitude. Jesus is saying that what comes out of our mouths is a boil over from what is in our hearts! What are your eyes and ears feeding your heart, the home of your soul?
Oh Holy Spirit, cleanse our eyes and ears and cleanse our hearts so that our tongues may be bridled and that our religion may be useful to Your Kingdom purpose!
Pure undefiled religion is to care for those who need help and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. Often times, I think we develop a mentality that we aren’t killing someone so we are ok with God, but that’s not what Jesus’ brother James is telling us here. Keep the little spots and specks off of you. Don’t allow them to turn into a smear. We become useless while our sins are still small. It doesn’t take a giant smear to tarnish our testimony. Think about it… How many times have we looked at someone who has made a mistake and said, “Well, I can’t believe they just did that.” Well, do you think that the expectation on us is any lower? I think it’s higher because we know better.
Do you have some spots? Take them to the Lord and let Him clean you whiter than snow so that you may be useful to His kingdom purpose!