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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Wednesday, July 8

If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless.
—James 1:26

In his song "The Man in the Mirror," Michael Jackson suggested that the only way to make a change in the world is to take a look at yourself and make the change.

How true! Whether we are Christian, Buddhist, Jew, Muslim, or Hindu, we still deceive our own hearts if our tongue is given free rein. Religion is not really about what particular beliefs we hold,
but how pure our hearts are. We may have differences of faith,
differences in ethnicity, differences in gender, but when the love offered by heaven is more important to us than saying anything we want to say, God is able to use us to show that divine love throughout the world.

As children of heaven, we have the chance to represent God's kingdom on earth. We do that every time we exercise love and grace, mercy and peace among those with whom we work and live. When our hearts are filled with hurt or anger, we become too focused on ourselves and our need to express our anger and hurt through our words. We end up tearing others down rather than building them up.

The opportunity to strengthen our faith and bring hope to others ends up empty and worthless. When we look at ourselves and make inner changes, we find our hearts becoming more like God's, and our religion has a chance to change the world.

Gracious God, let my soul become quiet, and my lips still so that I can see my own heart clearly.