Religion today has become highly standardized. Many individuals argue over the origins of religion and its very purpose. However, it can be viewed as either an ideology or an institution. To cover it all religion is a sacred belief system that can be practiced in physical and non-tangible forms. It is essential in many people’s lives, and many individuals abandon their affluent lives to follow the godly path. It also serves as a source of light for many people, guiding them through life’s problems. Let us now understand the meaning of religion and how current religion serves its purpose.
What is religion?
Religion entails cultural ideas, worldviews, texts, values, and predictions that have spiritual significance to adherents of that faith. It includes everything from prayer and meditation to trances and feasts. According to the academic definition, religion is a set of organized ideas, practices, and systems that most typically pertain to the belief and worship of a ruling power, which could be a personal deity or a supernatural being. There are many religions worldwide; some practice monotheism, while others believe in polytheism. Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, are some major religions.
What is the purpose of religion?
The world is separated into two parts: the visible world and the invisible world. The visible world is merely the tip of an iceberg, whereas the invisible world is a significant portion concealed from view deep inside the ocean. Only religion allows you to cross the vast ocean and see the remainder of the iceberg. Religion provides the very meaning and purpose of life; it assists us in our journey to salvation; however, salvation has varied meanings in different religions.
Religion not only teaches us how to treat others better but also how to treat our enemies with justice and fairness. Religion aids in the development of self-control and self-discipline. Religion sharpens one’s awareness. Religion should not be taken in a restricted sense but from a broader perspective. If you go thoroughly into religion and religious texts, you will discover that religion serves numerous purposes.
Religion serving its purpose
After understanding religion’s meaning and purpose, we shall try to understand how the current religion serves its purpose and aids human growth.
1) Ultimate source of optimism
According to numerous studies, people who have a high feeling of optimism outperform those who do not. For example, if you are recovering from a disease and believe you will be fine soon, you may heal quickly. Optimism and religion are, in some ways, connected. People in despair look for anything positive to help them overcome difficult times. Reading religious texts motivates them to discover a ray of hope even in the darkest times.
2) Psychological Benefits
People can be affected by religion in both positive and harmful ways. On the one hand, it gives you power and peace; on the other side, it can be damaging and cause stress or function as a barrier to your peace. Religion can both hinder and enhance people’s psychological well-being. On the one hand, religion encourages positive feelings, community support services, and positive coping skills. Religious beliefs can also help cope with mental health disorders and can help control stress and mental disease by soothing anxiety. Religious and pastoral therapy might be incorporated into the therapeutic process.
3) Raise self-esteem
Religion can help you feel better by connecting you to a larger community. According to a study conducted in 2012, religious persons had higher self-esteem and better psychological adjustment than non-religious people. Religion provides you with a strong and durable sense of self-worth. In many religions, God’s love is unconditional, as though he is a good parent who leads, loves, and nurtures us. This unconditional affection boosts our confidence in some way.
4) Encourage Philanthropy
Almost every religion in the world encourages us to undertake philanthropic activities by donating money and resources to those who are less fortunate and cannot afford them. Many Bible scriptures explicitly emphasize helping the needy is just like worshipping Jesus. There are now numerous religious and secular organizations that assist the underprivileged. It could offer free food, education, and other basic requirements such as clothing to those in need. As said charity begins at home you can start by helping your family members who need your assistance.
5) Improves physical health
Many studies have revealed that religious people have a lower risk of coronary heart disease. This may appear to some as superstition. However, a scientific explanation is that people who follow religion prefer to avoid using cigarettes and alcohol as stress busters due to religious convictions, rather they go for other options like charity and meditation. This reduces the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and lung disease. It eventually contributes to a more robust immune system and longer life spans. It leads to a healthy lifestyle with improved physical health.
6) Keeps you happy
Religious people are happier than non-believers because they experience the social satisfaction of belonging to a community and delivering regular service to society. Thinking about God also helps religious individuals to relax. In other words, believers rely on their faith to deal with life’s challenges. Gathering with others in a church, temple, or synagogue allows people to form social networks, form closer connections, and, eventually, achieve greater life happiness.
7) Food for the soul
When you read religious texts from around the world, you will see how many religions discuss the soul and how to maintain it at peace. Many teachings from religious traditions can help heal and renew the soul. There comes a time in everyone’s life when they feel entirely hopeless and sad. Religion can help them to get through this challenging period. When an individual is healed, the family is healed, and society itself is healed. Religion satisfies your soul’s desire, and you must remember that your soul requires religion more than your body to live at peace.
In this technology-driven world, everything, even religious teachings, is easily accessible. You can now study the essential ethics of your faith while sitting at home or in a subway. However, as time passes, more people are drifting toward atheism and utilizing religion as a source of violence. However, one should constantly keep in mind the main aim of religion, which is to promote peace, harmony, and growth in society.