‘real religion’ is Googled 33,100 times per month.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…..”
Someone recently asked me if I was doing what I was doing out of guilt or out of a good heart. I responded by asking if it mattered? The Bible says that the heart is desperately wicked above all things and that God weighs our motives. Even if I dig down really deep to the roots to calculate my motives, would I really be capable of honestly discerning whether my intentions — at any given moment, are good or bad? Religion that God looks at as pure and faultless is to look after orphans and widows in their distress. Nowhere in this passage, does it talk about doing good because you feel good about doing it or because you feel motivated to make a difference. Most of the time I do what is right because I feel obligated to do so. Because there are so many things that get in the way on the journey toward our destination. There are so many obstacles to keep us off course. There are so many mind games and heart problems that make our palms sweat with resistance against just doing what is right. Emotions that we can’t quite pin-point, logic that seems to spin out of control, people and circumstances that make us want to stop putting one foot in front of the other, just in the name of doing good.
So we do not need to be convinced that our sacrifice is going to be a good thing. We do not need to reason with ourselves until what we are about to give up finally makes sense. In fact, the Bible says that “To obey, is better than to sacrifice.” God says He accepts our religion as authentic when we look after widows and orphans in their distress. When I first heard this passage, I thought, “Hey, cool…an easy ticket into the glory of the cross.” I’ll just hand pick my orphans and thank my lucky stars I don’t know any widows. Then I’m good to go with God.