What is more important: the work of my hands or the purity of my heart?
Published September 23rd, 2016
Main point summary
Pure Religion is to serve the needy and be holy
The recent canonization of Mother Teresa into sainthood has lead my mind to think about "true religion." What IS true religion? Philanthropy? Serving? Kindness? Holiness? What pleases God? Does He care more about my heart or my actions? James 1:26-27 is the go to passage to define true religion. So, what does God care about? First, God graciously sheds light on a blind spot. My religion is of no value if my words are wild and out of control. No matter what actions I perform or ministry I serve or charity I pour into, my words disqualify it. What is happening is that my mind is compartmentalizing actions and heart. I am deceived. On the other hand, true God-glorifying religion is both heart and hands. God deeply cares about both. My hands are to serve God with acts of love for the needy. My heart also serves and pleases God by being holy and untainted by this world.
If anyone thinks he is religious
If anybody views himself as a good, religious person
q and does not bridle his tongue
And at the same time does not control what he says and how he says it
but deceives his heart,
This results in self deception of the true state of his own heart
this person’s r religion is worthless.
Then his "goodness" and "religiousness" is of no value
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this:
However religion that is true and unsoiled in God's view is this
s to visit t orphans and widows in their affliction,
Outward acts of love toward the needy, as in caring for orphans and widows
and u to keep oneself v unstained from the world.
And inward holiness by keeping his actions and heart separate from the world