If one says they belong to a religion, that attachment leads one to practice and follow those doctrines. The follower feels part of that religious family.
It is like in a human family with the members growing to know each other deeply through repeated interaction and interest in each other.
When we talk about our human family it is with the credibility of having shared time and experiences together.
And when we talk about our religion, and its doctrines and practices, we have credibility because we are immersed in and live those teachings.
But when we then talk about a different religion it is from an academic stance rather than experiential.
We know our own religion best for having lived it.
As a Christian I can speak from my experiences having lived those teachings. But, I cannot speak with the same authority about any other religion, because no matter what I've read about it or studied about it I have not lived a different set of teachings from Christianity.
Meditation for reflection
Begin by sitting straight in a quiet private place where you will not be disturbed. Fold your hands in your lap or lay them palms up or palms down on your thighs. Do a few rounds of even regular breathing such as 2 counts to breathe in and 2 counts to breathe out and continue the pattern until it becomes regular and you feel calm.
Here is a verse to reflect upon -
"My religion is best for me
And others have the right
To best their religion live
Whatever it may be."
Repeat the verse a few times to feel the impact of the words most fully - each person has the right to live their religion as best they can.
Now, turn your thoughts to an appreciation for something positive in your life.
Return to the even breathing for a minute to center your mind, then finish your meditation by taking a few deep breaths.
Resolve to practice your religion well, while at the same time feeling respect for others' religious choices.
Article Susan Kramer; photo credit Stan Schaap
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