Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thirsty Thursdays: Religion & Spirituality

Religion – a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects; ritual observance of faith. People tend to associate religion with tradition, strict rules and harsh punishments. Spirituality, while it may not have one definitive definition, is basically a personal realm of thought/consciousness/experience where self-growth, transformation and connection to a higher power are the main objectives. Spirituality is seen as more open, free flowing and accepting. In this day and age, many people consider themselves to be “spiritual but not religious” or vice versa, but in actuality a balanced combination of the two is necessary

In Matthew Chapter 15 verses 1-20, we read that the Pharisees and teachers of the law went and asked Jesus why the disciples break the tradition of the elders and eat without washing their hands first. Jesus responds by asking them why do they break the command of God for the sake of their tradition. He then goes on to say “6…thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites... 8 These people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.” The Pharisees and teachers of the law were so concerned with the following of their created rules and traditions yet they broke the command of God. Jesus went on to explain how the importance should not be placed necessarily on what goes in the mouth but what comes out of your mouth (the intentions of your heart). "18 But the things that come out of a person's mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts-murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them."

Some people say they are Christians and just follow rules and rituals. Being a Christian/believer is more than just going through the motion of following the religion (practices, rituals and rules).  There is a spiritual side to it where we need to develop a personal relationship with God. But while being spiritual we can not attempt to have a personal relationship with God on OUR TERMS. It is on GOD's TERMS. This is where religion comes in; our relationship with God should coincide with our beliefs, which stem from The Word aka The Bible and provide a guideline. As we strive to be more Christ like and grow in his image, we need to submit to his will for our lives all while being a part of his body, the church.  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21


Stay Thirsty My Friends

Thirsty Thursdays: Ron

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