Maturity seen in our Speech
Category : General
James 1: 26 (KJV)
26 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Let the Redeemed of the Lord say and do so!
It is noted that the management of the tongue is not, of course, the only Christian virtue, but it is a plain, manifest, practical duty, omission to perform which at once puts the stamp of spuriousness upon a man’s religion. An unruly tongue, an envious tongue, a lying tongue, are all indications of something being rotten in the heart of a man’s religious system; and until he has put a bridle upon his tongue and brought it into subjection to the law of Christ there can be no hope of that man’s religion being such as God can approve.
James is noting that the one who speaks not according to the oracles of God, whatever pretenses he makes to religion, only shows, by his want of scriptural knowledge, that his religion is false, or empty of solid truth, profit to others, and good to himself. Such a person should bridle his tongue, put the bit in his mouth; and particularly if he be a professed teacher of religion. It does not matter where he has studied, or what else he has learned, if he has not learned religion, he can never teach it. And religion is of such a nature that no man can learn it but by experience. The individual who does not feel the doctrine of God to be the power of God to the salvation of his soul, can neither teach religion, nor act according to its dictates, because he is an unconverted, unrenewed man. If he be old, let him retire to the desert, and pray to God for light; if he be in the prime of life, let him turn his attention to some honest calling; if he be young, let him tarry at Jericho till his beard grows.
It is clear from this that James was addressing this letter to self-deceived people who in some manner had accepted the proposition that they were saved without reference to the practice of true Christianity. What was their fallacy? It could well have been that of imagining that they were “saved through faith only.” That they were indeed believers is perfectly clear from the fact that they thought they were religious and were deceived into thinking that their conduct was unrelated to their salvation.
The conclusion then is, if he does not restrain his tongue, his other evidences of religion are worthless. A man may undoubtedly have many things in his character which seem to be evidences of the existence of religion in his heart, and yet there may be some one thing that shall show that all those evidences are false. Religion is designed to produce an effect on our whole conduct; and if there is any one thing in reference to which it does not bring us under its control, that one thing may show that all other appearances of piety are worthless.
Have a great and God filled day!