"If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue
but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father,
is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction,
and to keep oneself unstained from the world."
James summarizes the previous two paragraphs quite succinctly: we are to put the bridle in our mouths and take the cuffs off our hands. The reason for this is quite obvious, isn't it?
Webster says, "Religion, as distinct from theology, is godliness or real piety in practice, consisting in the performance of all known duties to God and our fellow men, in obedience to divine command, or from love to God and his law."
Therefore, when we are all talk and no action, even when we are spouting our well-versed theology, James gives us the warning once again, as in verse 22, that we are only deceiving ourselves if we think that that is all that religious piety consists of.
We are to remove the handcuffs and tend the flock. My daughters take meals each week to a widower in our church. They sit and visit and keep him company for awhile. Now and then I have the privilege of taking a meal to him, and I know why the daughters do it. Not only is it a ministry to him but to them, as well. They are exercising pure religion.
It is very difficult to wash clean a pair of cuffed hands. The last part of verse 27 says that we are to keep ourselves unstained from the world. Psalm 119:9: "How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your Word." How can an older woman, a mother with children, a man with many obligations keep himself pure? Psalm 119:11: "I have stored up your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." (How do you spell Lord? O-B-E-Y!)
Well, it's time to quit talking and start doing.
Have a productive day,