Tuesday, May 3, 2016

RELIGION: THE HEART OF THE MATTER




    Religion; it is a word that is almost sacrilege to some individuals. They speak it with scowls on their faces as the sour pronunciation falls from their lips in despising tones. But why is this so, and why are so many people seeking out alternatives to the spiritual upbringing of their youth? The main problem here is that organized religion focuses on rules and regulations for people to follow. They put forth the notion that by eating certain foods, worshiping at a certain place on a certain day of the week, dressing a certain way or refraining from certain worldly entertainments will gain them favor with God. The list goes on and on of the exterior rules espoused by the many religious groups in the world. But the one thing they fail to recognize is that religion or spirituality is meant to change the heart of an individual, not just change the physical routine of their daily lives. If a person's heart is not changed by an encounter with something greater than himself, all of the rules and regulations in the world will not make him/her a better human being. And a person can only have that life-changing encounter when they are free to explore the depths of divine love on their own. To box an individual in with certain theologies and dogmas will only cause them to feel restless over time. No human being or organization can put God in a box. To do so is to stunt the growth of those who subscribe to the religion constructed by a certain organization. It is said in the Bible that there is hope faith and love, and that the greatest of these is love. I believe the author of these words put them in this order because faith can be misguided, but love will always do the right thing for every person involved in a situation. Love is the key to any successful spiritual path, without it, we are just flawed human beings following a set of rules that make no real changes to the inner self. Religion is not a terrible word, it has only been defined incorrectly by individuals who did not understand its original intent. Rules and regulations will not change a person, but seeking the Divine with our hearts will bring awakenings and revelations that will transform our very being.

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