By Pastor John Bingham
James 1:26, “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.”
If you're planning to vacation in Zambia, beware of the street-corner "emerald vendors." And if you're driving, be prepared for some confusion in the streets, owing to stolen traffic lights. The two warnings are related: The traffic light thieves are selling green glass chips to unsuspecting tourists who think they're getting bargain-basement emeralds.
For many people, their life is a lot like these fake gems. They may appear on the surface to be the “real deal.” Perhaps they attend church, they wear the right clothes, but if you inspect them closely, you will find something is lacking.
The word “vain” is defined by Strong’s as “devoid of force, truth, success, result” and it also means, “useless, of no purpose.” James says that one of the telling marks of a Christian is their mouth. If a person “seem[s] to be religious” but you notice that their mouth is filled with profanity or is ear marked by gossip and slander, then James makes it plain, this religion is devoid of truth, and is worthless. If Christ so dwell in us, then may we allow our mouth bring glory to Him!
Psalms 19:14, “ Let the words of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, be acceptible in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.”