James – Tuesday, March 17
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. 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 must have made a regular study of the book of Proverbs, because his emphasis on the use of the tongue jives so well with that book. In fact, the book of James has been called the Proverbs of the New Testament.
Those who fail to control their tongue are self-deceived, and their religious lifestyle is useless—the reason being that our words can so easily cancel out our actions.
The kind of religion that our heavenly Father acknowledges is a humble religion. Two examples of humble religion are the care of orphans and widows in their pressures of life, and the living of a life wholly set apart to God.
Daily Devotional Book • James Application Questions
1. What does it mean to “keep a tight rein” on our tongue? How specifically do we do that?
2. Take a close look at your “religion.” Does it include inconspicuous acts of kindness and help for others? If so, in what ways? If your answer is “no,” then how might you start doing these things?
3. Take time to pray, asking God to make you a man or woman who lives set apart to Him, in a way that He accepts and acknowledges.