Are religion and faith the same thing? I think that many people consider them the same and get mixed up in that thinking. From what I know faith is about our relationship with God. One’s faith is that belief, that trust, that God is there, exists, cares for you, listens to you. Faith is the relationship between you/me and God.
Religion is a system of beliefs and practices and attitudes that have been formulated by an institution. We join a religion, or a denomination within a religion. By joining it we accept and internalize the attitudes, practices, and beliefs of that religious system. This isn’t bad, in and of itself. Many learned scholars over the centuries have worked on defining and describing the beliefs, practices, and attitudes of each religion or denomination. It is a good thing to find one that fits you. By joining a religion you will be able to mold your life using the attributes of that religion or denomination within a religion.
Still, we have our own personal faith that is different from the religion to which we ascribe. If our lives are congruent, then our religion reflects our faith and our faith can grow through our practice of our religion. A disconnect between our faith and our religion causes incongruence in our lives.
Does our faith change as we mature, age, grow older, in the different stages in our lives? I think that it should change as we perceive the physical world and the spiritual world differently. Perhaps one of the stumbling blocks in our lives is when our faith evolves over the years but our religion does not accommodate our changing faith. Do we cling to the old religion and subvert our faith or do we change religious affiliations in order to keep our faith congruent with our religion? Perhaps we can find that our religion has a different lens than the one we have been using. Perhaps we can keep the same religion by looking at it through a different frame of reference as our faith matures.