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SOUL ISSUES:What Is the Difference? 

 Rev Liz Petipren

By Reverend Liz Petipren 

 

A Tampa, Florida, woman was arrested a few years back for hiring a hit man to take out her husband. When asked why she didn’t just file for a divorce, she replied, “That would be against my religion,” 

Throughout history people have done lots of strange things in the name of religion. More people have been killed in religious wars than any other kind of war on planet earth. Something is definitely wrong with this picture. 

People often ask me about the relationship between religion and spirituality. I ask them to picture two overlapping circles. One circle represents religion, and the other spirituality. There is a portion of religion that is spiritual, and a portion of spirituality that is religious. You can be spiritual without being religious, and you can be religious without being spiritual. I have attended some religious services that have been ecstatic, while others dole out death by boredom. I know deeply spiritual people who go to church and others who are deeply spiritual and would never set foot in a church. God does not live in one church more than another. God lives in your heart. If you take your heart to church, God is there. If you take your heart to the woods, God is there. 

There comes a time in every person’s evolution when he or she must decide the truth for him or herself. If your truth matches what religion tells you, so be it. If it does not, so be it. You are the one who has to live with yourself, and the closer you live to what you believe to be true, the happier you will be and the greater the contribution you will make to the world. 

The Dalai Lama declared, “My religion is loving kindness.” If we all lived that religion, the world would be a very holy place. Then the Tampa lady would not have had to put a contract out on her husband. She could have just loved him or left him, and that would have been okay with God. 

Affirmation: “I am right with God because I am right with myself.”

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