True Religion

The greatest virtues are those which are the most useful to others. Aristotle

Perhaps the reason that so many seem to truly despise religion is that they do not understand what religion truly is: It is the fulfillment of the two greatest commandments - to love the Lord with all your heart and soul and mind and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself. In short, it is service.

Today, I was privileged to watch true religion in action. Our youth group gathered for a few hours this evening to serve our widows. Each Monday during the summer, they mow lawns and weed gardens and take out garbage and do a hundred other little jobs that are of very small consequence to a young person in the prime of their strength, but of very great consequence to one whose strength is in decline. These fine young people do not perform these tasks for money; rather, they do it to lift a burden.

In a world where many of our church youth groups seem to exist only to be entertained and catered to, it is refreshing to watch these young men and women not only fulfill the requirements of true religion, but also thrive while doing so. And, by doing so, they discover what the genuinely religious have always found: The greatest virtues really are those which are most useful to others. Christianity was not designed as a perpetual vacation for its adherents. Instead, it is designed as a lifetime of service. Those who learn this lesson will not only find true religion, but they will also find true happiness.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress...   James 1:27, NIV