UNTIL 1988, the fastest man who ever lived was Ben Johnson, a broad-shouldered Canadian sprinter.
In the Seoul Olympics of 1988, he ran the fastest 100 metres in history, clocking 9.79m seconds.
But do not look for his name in the record books because he was disqualified. Not because he was not fast. Not because he was not talented. Because he broke the rules. He was taking anabolic steroids.
Could your Christianity be disqualified? You may not want to read on, but you must! You do not want to be disqualified.
James begins by saying, “If anyone considers himself religious … ” If you have read this far, you probably qualify. You do not consider yourself a pagan. This verse is about you. So, if anyone thinks he is a Christian, yet does certain things, he “deceives himself, and his religion is worthless”.
We might go to church and sing the songs. We might study the Bible and preach sermons. And still be disqualified. And, what is even more frightening, all along we have deceived ourselves into thinking that we are religious.
So what is this deadly spiritual steroid that will disqualify us from the race? Is it murder? Embezzlement? Racism?
Some people, James says, fool themselves into thinking that their religion is sound, yet they will be disqualified because they fail to control their tongues.
Angry words. Gossip. Spiteful, or demeaning remarks. Destructive and bruising words. Are you guilty? Am I? Be careful how you respond.
James insists that many are “deceived” into thinking that their religion is okay when it is not. In a word, if you think that this verse does not apply to you, that may be the very sign that it does.
Words can bind the wounds of the injured and heal the broken bones of the fallen. Or they can strip bare another’s heart. Use words carefully. In the race of life, there is a record book, what the Bible calls the “Book of Life”. And you want to have your name written there. – KneEmail.
“If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight reign on his tongue, he deceives himself, and his religion is worthless.” – James 1:27.