Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Teen Spiritual Happiness

This article on the connection between spirituality and happiness in children/teens was somewhat interesting for two reasons. 1) They made a clear distinction between "religion" and "spirituality," and 2) they don't give clear definitions to either. Quote:
Religion is just one institutionalized venue for the practice of or experience of spirituality, and some people say they are spiritual but are less enthusiastic about the concept of God.

Other research has shown a connection between well-adjusted and well-behaved children and religion, but that is not the same, necessarily, as happiness...
The best definition of spirituality they had in the article was "one's sense of meaning or purpose in life." It makes me wonder what the perceived difference is between faith and religion, where the disconnect lies, and how those in youth ministry can reconcile the two. Without clear definition for either term (religion or spirituality) it also makes it difficult to understand what those differences truly are. I suppose my off-the-top-of-my-head answer is that spirituality is connected to internal belief while religion is connected to external practice. This may be why there is a connection between well-behaved children and religion (action, outward behavior) and happiness and spirituality (affect, internal emotion).

I guess it's good to know that spirituality makes you happy. :) It also leads to love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc. Just some random thoughts!

(ht to ypulse)

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