As Christians we have been told that going to church every Sunday is a must, we must not miss midweek services, we must do this, and we must not do that. As Muslims we have been groomed to pray 5 times daily, give alms to the poor, visit Mecca and all that. Other religions also have activities they partake in.
Along my journey in life I have come to realize that there are so many activities we partake in out of compulsion and not out of our soul’s yearning. Also, 2020 made me realize that really there are some activities we do not necessarily have to partake in to be spiritual. This begs the question what really is spirituality and what is religion?
Spirituality and religion can be hard to differentiate, but there are some pretty defined differences between the two.
Religion is a specific set of organized beliefs and practices, usually shared by a community or group.
Spirituality is more of an individual practice and has to do with having a sense of peace and purpose. It also relates to the process of developing beliefs around the meaning of life and connection with others.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. Mathew 23:23
Religion’s focus is the content of a person’s belief and the outworking of that belief; spirituality’s focus is the process of becoming more attuned to the creator of your spirit and soul. It’s possible to be religious without being spiritual and spiritual without being religious.
In other words it’s possible for us to say we are Christians, Muslims, Buddhist, etc., and not have any form of spirituality. This because spirituality in itself is being connected to the creator and remaining in connection. What I see today is a lot of us are so deep into activity that we forget the act of being and remaining in connection with the creator of our being.
See, I believe that Jesus actually came to re-enforce spirituality. He came to bring a balance between religion and Spirituality. This was why He kept having problems with the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Mathew 23:23 is an example.
True spirituality is the fruit that the Holy Spirit produces in a person’s life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Spirituality is all about becoming more like God, who is spirit (John 4:24) and having our character conformed to His image (Romans 12: 1-2). At this point I will say Spirituality is personal. I go in search of truth by myself through the leading of the Holy spirit in me.
Our Spirituality will obviously lead us to some believes and continuous activities, but these activities shouldn’t be the defining factor of our spirituality.
There is so much more to be discussed on this, but I drop my pen here for now. What’s your take on this matter. Let’s continue this conversation. Leave your comments below.