religion and spirituality

What’s the Difference Between Religion and Spirituality?

There’s some confusion going on regarding these two concepts. It’s easy to see why this would be the case, simply because you’re going to find there’s overlap in the definitions. Let’s take this apart and see if we can make more sense of things.

Religion, by definition, is a collection of beliefs set out with specific patterns and symbols that define how it is practiced. This can become extremely diverse and reflect an entire world of beliefs. There are thousands of different religions in the world today.

Religion might be easier to understand if you think of it as an outward expression of your faith journey. It has more to do with what you’re doing to express your beliefs and tends to involve contemplation or worship in unison with others.

Spirituality is the inward journey. Someone spiritual seeks a personal connection with the mysteries of the universe and explores more fully their place within it. They look to understand themselves as well as the reasons behind why they do something. Spirituality encourages inner reflection and is often practiced alone.

Religion is Born from Spirituality

When you go back to the origins of any religion, you’ll find the spiritual at the core of it. Over time, this has gotten lost. People get caught up in the rules and rote learning of their belief system and forget that at the heart of their practice is a more profound truth. For this reason, sometimes, religion is seen to have no spiritual component at all.

You Cannot Experience Spirituality or Religion without Love

When practiced correctly, you will find love at the core of both practices. Religion tends to put the focus of that love on the god-figure, both in the love this deity has for the world or in the love expressed for the world in the practice of this belief. Even religions without a god at the central core (and there are many without) encourage loving practice. In spirituality, this love also involves love of yourself, again typically manifested in ways designed to express love to those around us.

Both Religion and Spirituality Explore Truths

Religion typically already has these truths written down somewhere, and spirituality focuses on the process of discovering truth for yourself. These beliefs are not mutually exclusive. The religious person will want to study these truths to understand how they pertain to their own life, giving them a spiritual journey not dissimilar to the spiritual person.

While there are many more aspects to both religion and spirituality, it’s their importance in your life that really matters. Whether you’re more comfortable in a religious setting or would prefer to practice your spirituality in a more personal way.  You will find an emotional and even physical benefit to both. Having a belief system is integral to personal growth and development and leads to better mental and even physical health. So, don’t be afraid to explore the deeper truths and what they mean to you.

Rev. Colleen Irwin
Reverend Colleen Irwin is a Spiritual being having a human experience as a Blogger, Wife, Mother, Mentor, Healer and Public Speaker living in Rochester New York. Colleen, a Natural Born Medium, teaches, lectures and serves Spirit when called upon. She remembers speaking with Spirit as a child and learning how to share this knowledge with others has been an adventure that she captured in her book “Discovering Your Stream”. Colleen has been mentored by Reverend Jack Rudy, and ordained as a Priest in the Order of Melchizedek by the Reverend Dan Chesboro through the Sanctuary of the Beloved. When she is not doing her Spiritual work she is a volunteer docent sharing Susan B. Anthony's history to visitors of the Susan B. Anthony House in Rochester. Her trust in Spirit gave her a new title – PREVIVOR. She now uses her platform to educate others about the BRCA genetic mutation and how one can take control of their health and well-being.
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