James 1:26

26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.

Read James 1:26 Using Other Translations

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 anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless.
If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.

What does James 1:26 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
James 1:26

If any man among you seem to be religious
By his preaching, or praying, and hearing, and other external duties of religion, he is constant in the observance of; and who, upon the account of these things, "thinks himself to be a religious man", as the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions render it; or is thought to be so by others:

and bridleth not his tongue;
but boasts of his works, and speaks ill of his brethren; backbites them, and hurts their names and characters, by private insinuations, and public charges without any foundation; who takes no care of what he says, but gives his tongue a liberty of speaking anything, to the injury of others, and the dishonour of God, and his ways: there seems to be an allusion to ( Psalms 39:1 ) .

But deceiveth his own heart;
with his show of religion, and external performances; on which he builds his hopes of salvation; of which he is confident; and so gives himself to a loose way of talking what he pleases:

this man's religion is vain;
useless, and unprofitable to himself and others; all his preaching, praying, hearing, and attendance on the ordinances will be of no avail to him; and he, notwithstanding these, by his evil tongue, brings a scandal and reproach upon the ways of God, and doctrines of Christ.

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