spirituality vs. religiosity

im taking a class right now called wellness that focuses on health and the dimensions of wellness that overall, produce longevity and complete happiness (or joy) for a person. its like a how to become a wholesome human being class. in reading the text material (Wellness: Guidelines for a Healthy Lifestyle by Hoeger, Turner, Haffen and Lottes), i am amazed at the amount of faith and spirituality that has been put into this book. with circling theories like evolution and darwinism, we tend to see less and less God and more and more “because science says so.” while this book is still very much so scientifically based from research done by religiously impartial scientists, its mentioning of a higher power is not subtle. the higher power, of course, being God or allah or the wind or whatever everyone is believing in these days. although i definitely am on the Lord’s side.

so the book goes on to discuss dealing with disease and illness, both the healing ways and the harming ways. social networking and a healthy family and an admirable job are all included in this conversation. but so is spirituality and religiosity. among these topics, faith, belief, and hope are all mentioned as vital aspects of the healing process. the text talks about how physicians and psychologists are looking more and more at peoples spirituality and religious walks partnered with hope and faith in consideration for healing. obviously, the “prayerful” people have experienced “medical miracles” coming in with cancer and leaving cancer-free. there must be something about prayer, and religion, and spirituality that medicine is missing.

what i thought was most interesting was the way in which the authors described and defined spirituality and religion. spirituality refers to the constant struggle to find depth and purpose to life and the life thereafter. religion refers to organized spirituality. meaning a spirituality with rules and guidelines and a way of life and… a building. it is spirituality in which all people seek. but religion in which only some choose to follow. i like to think of spirituality as the hippy barbaric way of religion. and religion and as the public educations way of spirituality.

what i admired most about the short discussion of these 2 topics was how relatable it was to everyday life… even for me. i faithfully attend church. i love serving in youth group. i love the Lord with all my heart… even my boyfriend is a youth pastor. but there is something uncomfortable with religion. and something intriguing about spirituality. i have never been a person of rules. even if there aren’t any, i somehow find ways to break them without even knowing it. and i have fallen in love with jesus because he isn’t like that. sometimes the bible seems really rule-y and commandment-like, but what the word of God has introduced me to is a love that cant be broken and a grace that cannot be achieved because its already been given.

i see nothing wrong with religion. i think that whichever and whatever way anyone comes to know the Lord is perfect. if there were only one way to know jesus, i probably would have missed it by now. but because he is the way, the truth and the life, he has made himself so transparent for anyone to know him. and why shouldn’t we know him? why shouldn’t we want follow him? maybe there is a different kind of religion. a kind of spirituality that simply loves and follows jesus.

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