If anyone thinks himself to be religious [scrupulously observant of the rituals of his faith], and does not control his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person’s religion is worthless (futile, barren).
If anyone thinks himself to be religious (piously observant of the external duties of his faith) and does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person’s religious service is worthless (futile, barren).
People who think they are religious but ·say things they should not say [L do not bridle their tongues; 3:1–12; 4:11–12] are just ·fooling [deceiving] themselves. Their “religion” is ·worth nothing [empty; meaningless].
Anyone who sets himself up as “religious” by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.
Suppose people think their beliefs and how they live are both right. But they don’t control what they say. Then they are fooling themselves. Their beliefs and way of life are not worth anything at all.
If anyone considers himself to be one of the Charedim (Orthodox, G-dfearing Jewish religious ones), yet has lashon hora and does not bridle his tongue but instead causes his lev to fall under remiyah (deceit), this one’s chasidus (piety) is worthless. [TEHILLIM 34:13; 39:1; 141:3]
If you put yourself on a pedestal, thinking you have become a role model in all things religious, but you can’t control your mouth, then think again. Your mouth exposes your heart, and your religion is useless.
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