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Being Religious vs. Being Godly
The way the term ‘religious’ is used in our time shows how confused some people are. A religious person used to mean someone who had dedicated his life to studying religion, what we would call a theologian today.
The current use though muddles our relationship with God, causing our compass to point to religion and not God. It makes religion into an end rather than a means. ‘Religious’ now applies to the religion of the person it is used to describe, as in ‘a religious Christian/Muslim/Jew’. There’s nothing wrong with that – as long as it is understood that religion is a path to God. The implicit meaning is that this person uses religion to draw closer to God. But if that meaning is unclear, the term comes to mean ‘becoming immersed in the minutiae of religion, and forgetting the reason for its existence’ – which may lead to it being used as an end and not a means. Eventually, religion becomes an end.
History is full of tales of holy personages into virtual idols worshiped instead of God. This is a gradual process. First, statues of these people are made, as a means to draw closer to God. With the passage of time, the means is confused with the end, and statues become an ‘auxiliary god’ of a sort, a means to earn God’s favor. Then it gets another promotion in our consciousness, and so on. I believe that the confusion that gave rise to modern idolatry is the same thing that has turned religion into a Tribe, and the problem with some people’s relationship to religion.
A Godly person is someone, quite simply, whom God loves.
Godly people try to reach Him 24/7. They observe God in everything they do, and love all of His creatures in Him. Their compass never wavers; even if they are forced to change direction, their awareness is always with God. The aim of godly persons is God; anything else is only a means to that glorious end. They are from God, with God, to God.
Contemplate. Think. Observe. Write.