22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.27 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.
True Christianity is not a “spectator sport.” We have been called to learn the word, apply it to our lives, and share it with others in the ways God has gifted us with. Our faith is not meant to be Top Secret, it requires our participation.
This thought is also seen in today’s scripture from the book of James. Sure, we can read the word of God to gain knowledge. But if we put away that wisdom and do not apply it to our lives, our “religion” is worth nothing.
Further, if we do not share it with others, in words or actions, it is less than worthless and a violation of God’s command to share the gospel with others, (Mark 16:15-16).
This is the meaning of the words found in (VV.22-24) above. If we take up a bible, read a passage or two, and then put it away, what good is that? How have we helped ourselves or others? We have just ignored the call to action and are deceiving ourselves in the process.
But if we want to be true Christians, effective in the way our Father wants us to be, we will live what we learn from scripture. We will find ways to be examples and lights to those people around us. And by doing so, we will be blessed by God, (V. 25).
Another thing we learn from this passage is that our tongues, (mouths), can get us into a lot of trouble. In setting a good Christian example, we need to keep a tight rein on what we say and how we say it, (V. 26).
Later on in James, he addresses what an evil our tongues can be if we don’t choose our words carefully. This not only applies to such things as cursing, gossip, and coarse joking, but also lashing out in anger, and offending others with how we say things to them.
In fact, we find some pretty strong words concerning our speech in (James 3:6), which says: “The tongue also is a fire, a world of wickedness among the parts of the body. It pollutes the whole person, sets the course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”
It is imperative then that we learn to choose our words carefully!
So then to sum up this passage, Christians need to actively read the word of God applying it to our lives. And when we are around people, we must be careful of what comes out of our mouths, both in general and when we choose to share with them the gospel of Christ.
Finally, true religion that is acceptable to God is to help the needy, and to keep ourselves from being caught up in the evil influences of the world, (V.27). Be proactive in avoiding situations which may cause us to sin…
Again, the Christian way of life involves taking action with our knowledge of God’s word. Live in the way our Lord calls us to live, and blessings will be ours. For our Lord loves us and wants us to be all we can be in Christ Jesus. May we always strive to improve ourselves as we live in the hope of eternal life!
Refs: ~Google~ biblehub.com~ biblegateway.com~