I think the slew of "Christian" self-help books and the plethora of books flooding the "Christian " marketplace right now are such crap. What's the deal anyway with Christianity becoming so highly commercialized? Do we really need mugs and T-shirts? Do we really need to read all of those books telling us how to align ourselves with God's specific plan for us when the author doesn't even touch on the truth?
If we read our Bibles and do what they say, and we are full of compassion and love and grace, we are doing well.
If we are looking into matters pertaining to the helpless, the poor, neglected and hungry,the thirsty, shut ins, widows and orphans, we are aligning ourselves with God's purposes.
When we sit in our luxury, bored and complaining and twiddling our thumbs, muttering that there just has to be more to this "Christian" life- we should take notice that something is deadly wrong with us.
When we build bigger churches and pay money to store all the extra stuff that doesn't fit in our homes while on the other side of the world or even the other side of town someone else doesn't have enough, we should start wondering.
If we are paying exorbitant fees for diet centers and gyms to try to get rid of the extra weight on our bodies from eating too much when on the other side of the world people, especially children are dropping like flies because they have not enough, we should begin to wonder about ourselves.
We are a generous country. We help and we serve and we give. Yet we are still the only country where people can literally eat themselves to death, where we watch shows about "hoarders" and where even the poor are rich compared to those in 3rd world countries. So maybe, just maybe we aren't giving enough. We will share but not "too" much.
Obviously we aren't doing enough or doing right if we are spending money on books trying to talk us into staying "Christian" even though our lives are miserable and selfish wrecks and we are gluttonous consumers. That's not Christianity and no wonder someone has to talk us into it.
True religion is found on the pages of scripture and James 1:27 is a specific example. True religion is found in the service of others and in the feeding of the hungry and the care of the sick and the sacrifice of God's people on behalf of others.
Christianity is not about an individual and highly personalized experience for our own benefit.
It's about community and others and if you are in community and looking out for others then when you need looking out for there should be someone there for you.
It's about God working through you after you're saved, to rescue others spiritually, physically and in every way.
It has nothing to do with the picture of a self indulgent person lavishing themselves with gifts while the gift God gave them languishes unused.
I'm speaking to myself here but maybe you can find something useful in my morning thoughts.
"Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy."
1 John 3:17-18
"But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth."