While having a conversation with my friend, whom I met in church, I realized that many people don’t really understand the difference between religion and spirituality.
She and I have similar beliefs but we had a great discussion about other people in our lives who want to live a Christian life but blindly follow rules without questioning or completely understanding what it means.
We both understand that there is some to be learned through the main lessons in our religion but there is more to learn through spirituality.
Spirituality versus religion. So many people agree that there is a difference yet so many more people cannot see their way out of a paper bag. I don’t mean that as an insult. I simply mean there are so many people who need to be strictly led in order to refrain from living a “sinful” life. Enter religion. There are things that we should “blindly” follow and then there are things that should be thoroughly thought through (mouthful!) where we make a determination as to its validity.
Case in point: I was walking with a Jewish co-worker and he was talking about Christianity and Hasidism. I am not very familiar with Hasidism but he was explaining to me about the bible and religious law and how the noticeable dress of a Hasidic Jewish person is not written as a requirement from God. He explained that it is simply tradition.
When looking at religious texts, what do you see? Miracles, misfortune turned blessings, rules, regulations and laws. Much of what I remember from attending church when I was a child is still what is performed today in the church my mother attends. Some of that can also be found in the church I attend. What I am realizing is that religion is about traditions, whereas spirituality is about having a relationship with God.
Some traditions are based on culture. Geographic location, nationality, racial profile, socio-economic status, etc, can determine traditions passed down. It’s part of life; it’s part of having a family. Religion fits that mold. If I were born in India, my religion would most likely be Hinduism. Here in the United States, there are so many to chose from but most people stick with the one they were brought up with.
My truth: all religions have a path to God because God is with us all. When religion is stripped away and spirituality is all that is left, we all know the path of righteousness, which will ultimately lead us to our higher power.
I refuse to blindly follow religion because my spirituality leads me down a more accurate path. Traditions are great but if they no longer make sense, we should abandon them and perform what does make sense.
Religion against religion is a fruitless fight and we need to all have an open mind and realize that we are all seeking the same thing. Break down the walls and listen. You shall hear your voice as your neighbor speaks.