26If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 27Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. James 1:26-27 (NLT)
Our service to and worship of God which is what religion is all about isn’t the things we have been told and taught by religious leaders to say and do in order to earn points with God and impress people .
It is how we actually honestly live our lives from the inside out.
To claim and act that we know, love, honor and serve God while how we see, treat, and relate with the people that God created in His image is the exact opposite is to deceive ourselves.
Here’s Jesus take on true versus false religion:
Mark 7:6-13 Jesus replied, 6″You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’ 8For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.” 9Then he said, “You skillfully sidestep God’s law in order to hold on to your own tradition. 10For instance, Moses gave you this law from God: ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’ 11But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ 12In this way, you let them disregard their needy parents. 13And so you cancel the word of God in order to hand down your own tradition. And this is only one example among many others.”
This hypocrisy that many front as religion or service to and worship of God is still around in the Church today.
Many give their energy, time and resources especially money to things they call ministry or serving God but miss the real God ordained, God honoring, and God pleasing worship. They pour their all into man made programs, projects and promotions while ignoring and neglecting God’s plans, purposes, and pursuits which is His beloved people. Even those who claim to be doing charitable work – helping the less privileged are actually using people to get things and amass wealth.
True religion is to help and bless others especially those worse off than us. Not just verbal help and blessings of – God help you, God bless you. But actual tangible help and blessing right from our heart, sharing our time, energy, gifts, possessions, abilities, wealth, advantages, and resources with others.