A recent abstract presented at the 168th American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting on May 16-20, 2015 in Toronto, Canada, raised some interesting observations.
The study paired religiosity and spirituality and compared each category to the quality of life (QOL) testing the hypothesis whether religiosity and spirituality worked synergistically or independently of QOL. The categories were:
Low spirituality/low religiosity
High spirituality/low religiosity
Low spiritually/high religiosity
High spirituality/high religiosity
The National Cancer Institute defines spirituality as an individual’s sense of peace or purpose and feelings about the meaning of life in general. Religiosity is one possible conduit for spirituality in the context of specific beliefs and practices, usually in conjunction with other people who hold the same beliefs. Thus, in the context of this study, an individual may be spiritual, religious, neither, or both. The study found that patients who have high spirituality and high religiosity have a better QOL but spirituality was slightly more important that religiosity.
I believe this study only scratches the surface of the issue and blurs definitions. What is spirituality or religiosity? This is what defines all other religions. But it is not what defines Christianity. It is more than a series of beliefs and practices, it is more than associating with others who hold the same beliefs. Christianity is a relationship between man and his Creator. It is a relationship that exists because God, not man, took the initiative to reconcile a relationship destroyed by sin.
…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
In Christianity, our quality of life is determined by God reaching out to us, not by our efforts to reach Him.
Praise the Living God!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.