People tend to use these two words – faith and religion – interchangeably. Not me! I have a great faith. It is strong and has helped me make it through many trials in my life. It is a faith in a higher being but it is also a faith in my fellow men and women. It is a belief – a word I am more likely to use interchangeably with faith – in the goodness that is in the world while still seeing that that is not good.
Religion is defined as a specific set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects. The world boasts a large number of religions. The problem is that each religion seems to think IT is the only way. Religion has become a divisive part of our world. That is not what God is. God is a force who brings people together, not tears people apart.
Faith is defined as a belief that is not based on proof. That means there is a huge chasm between faith and religion. To have faith is to believe in something that is unseen, unproven through normal methods. I have a huge faith. My faith has pulled me through all kinds of life changes that I never anticipated.
Whether I am talking about my faith in God or my faith in my fellow humankind, this belief in the good in the world helps me see the bumps in my road, my life as challenges, not problems. Knowing that I am not alone, that I have God with me regardless of what I am doing helps me to carry on when things look bleak.
Do you have faith? In a higher being? In each other? Do you follow an organized religion? Are the two interchangeable in your book?