The spiritual differs from the religious in being able to endure isolation. The rank of a spiritual person is proportionate to his strength for enduring isolation, whereas we religious people are constantly in need of “the others,” the herd. We religious folks die, or despair, if we are not reassured by being in the assembly, of the same opinion as the congregation, and so on. But the Christianity of the New Testament is precisely related to the isolation of the spiritual man.
~ Søren Kierkegaard
– Are you spiritual or religious?
– What can you do to make sure the spiritual grows & religious shrinks?
Now, don’t get me wrong, isolation does not equal spirituality – it is, however, often a result of being spiritual (real). Some people choose to be loners and then try to spin it into something spiritual-sounding, that never lasts long…
Learning to turn loneliness into aloneness is key – God sometimes sets us apart to sharpen us, encourage us, correct us and invigorate us. He’s there when no one else is & He’s there when everyone is around.
Such isolation is needed in our growth.
I guess both words: religious & spiritual can be spun in various directions – perhaps it’s all semantics… Ultimately we must learn that part of Christian maturity includes times of isolation – sometimes you don’t have to make them happen, they just do. And, when they do, see God’s purpose. In addition, we also need times of aloneness with God – even Jesus (our role model & Lord) isolated himself to be with His Father.
It’s a heart thing… figure it out.
Turning loneliness into aloneness, Chilly