Welcome to this Column, in which we shall be taking a precious moment to think about our spiritual wellbeing. This includes religion and the place of faith in our lives. The essence of this column is to focus on our relationship with God. This includes our spiritual wellbeing, that is relating to religion, our religious beliefs and God.
In this first series, let us make a conscious attempt to understand a few things that are a pertinent part of our lives, for example the various terms — such as religion and faith— and how they influence our spiritual wellbeing. This is because many of us know about God, yet some may not be as sure about our relationship with Him. For instance, how does God ‘fit into’ our lives? Perhaps to put it more candidly, how does God fit into our everyday life? To understand this, we need to take a moment and look at key concepts in our belief system.
|Religion and faith, spiritualism God is the supreme being, the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all things. God is the divine principal, supreme, and the indefinite spirit.Religion is the belief in God. This includes a set of beliefs. Religion incorporates a set of faith and worship.Belief is trust or faith, the confidence in someone or something. It is accepted as true or something that exists.Faith is the complete trust or confidence in someone or something. In particular, this includes our conviction or belief in God.Faith and religion may be slightly different. This is because while faith is what we believe— including our conviction— religion is organised faith and thus more collective than individual. Thus, though many people believe in a particular religion, they have diverse convictions (faiths).It is good to know our faith even as we partake in a particular religion.|
The Holy Bible and the Quran: Two of the most popular religious books
Reading the scripture is significant for spiritual uplifting
Religion, spiritualism and faith
Religion and spiritualism appear confusing to many of us. Religion is about beliefs while spiritualism emancipates from the soul. This is because of the mixture between the sacred and the secular, or a mix up among them. In the developing world, the historical context can be traced to the colonial process that aimed to quench the traditional setting, that is, both culture and religion. In the end, the liberation process of bringing light to the ‘dark’ continents of Africa and Asia proclaimed a ‘new’ religion (Christianity in particular) that in several ways it was part of the colonisation process may have failed to harmonise and reconcile with everyday living.
Traditional societies and true religion ….
In traditional societies, the sacred and the secular were highly intertwined. There was secular in the sacred, and sacredness in the secular. For example, there were several actions that were considered taboo and an abomination, such as disrespecting parents. The society also upheld parental authority because they responsibly guided and counselled the children. It would also displease the gods if one disrespected their parents.
|The world’s largest religions A majority of the World’s 7 billion people are religious, though there is a number of people who do not prescribe to any religion while others remain in their indigenous beliefs. Christianity (2.1 billion) Islam (1.3 billion) Catholics (1.1billion) Nonreligious [Secular/Agnostic/Atheist] (500 million) Hinduism (900 million) Chinese traditional religion (400 million) Buddhism 400 million. Primal-indigenous (300 million)|
Place of God and religion in our lives
Our belief in God is an acknowledgement of God’s existence. Hence God is the certainty of our peace. This is the joy and hope we have in this life and hereafter. Our belief in God comes naturally in the heart and mind when we are open minded. It is when we subject our mind to reason out and reject God that we fail to appreciate our creator, God, who made the universe and has given life to each of us. By believe in God, we find comfort and solace in our souls. At the same time, we gain the companionship of God’s spirit which allows us to feel God as a part of our lives.
Christ is the exemplar of our faith in God. Although Christ was God, He humbled himself even to the extent of dying on the cross that we may have life, and have it more abundantly. The Apostle Paul further describes what it is to be Christ-like. In the New Testament, Paul desires that those living in Corinth and Galatia adopt a Christ like life. In the same way, we must desire to know God and have a place of God in our lives.
God bless you.
Heavenly kingdom, the Promised Land that many people yearn for as promised in scriptures