Discussing the benefits of religion can be tricky when you get around people. They fervently believe what they think is the one authentic way, or they think it’s all a bunch of silly hocus-pocus used to justify the worst atrocities.
While anything can be misused, religion no exception, its presence has been primarily positive for modern civilization.
In this article, we examine the six most significant benefits of religion. Let’s begin!
Firstly, the tenants of many religious faiths encourage moderation and healthy habits. Specifically, this pertains to food and alcohol consumption.
One example of these religion benefits in Christianity is the labeling of gluttony as one of the “seven deadly sins” and Jesus turning water into wine but discouraging drunkenness.
Buddhism takes an even harsher line with alcohol consumption. The Buddha, often depicted in Chinese Buddhist sculpture as laughing or happy, finds alcohol no laughing matter. In fact, he is noted as saying any Buddhists who succumb to alcohol “shall not consider me as a teacher.”
Sense of Community
Another reason people seek to be more spiritual together through the institution of religion is that it fosters a sense of community. People gather around a set of shared ideals and principles. That opens them up to positive socialization, which can meet many psychological needs in an individual’s life.
Numerous studies over the years have shown religious people tend to live longer. By “religious people,” we mean those who regularly attend church services.
But just how long is “longer”? Well, one six-month study found those attending church services at least once weekly were about 46 percent less likely to die during the study. If that’s not enough to make you want to learn to be more religious, then what is?
Encouragement of Ethics and Morality
Many types of religions demand their followers adhere to a code regarding how they handle themselves and their relationships with others. Religious principles usually condemn things like murder, adultery, and greed.
While faiths can differ in agreement over what’s “right” and “wrong,” world governments tend to follow spiritual directives when scribing their laws. In other words, the things that society condemns were generally condemned by the area’s dominant religion first.
Forgiveness can be a hard thing to practice. We tend to hold onto grudges and even continually beat ourselves up for our past indiscretions. Religious people know this is a fool’s game.
They know forgiveness in all its forms (for example, the forgiveness of self and others) is healthy. It allows you to lay down the past and look ahead to the future and the prospects of forging a better life.
Mental Coping Mechanisms
Religions have instituted coping mechanisms to help their followers deal with the pressures of mental health. In some faiths, it’s about solitude and meditation. In others, the individual prays to a higher power.
The result is the same—the faithful share their struggles with their guiding light for strength, hope, and renewal.
Benefits of Religion Are Well Documented
No doubt, the benefits of religion are hard to argue with. For millennia, humanity has used religion as a way to set up law and order, teach their children the importance of giving back, and themselves how to deal with internal and external struggles in a healthier way.
While any idea or belief system can be misused, the presence of religion in our lives has and will remain a net positive.
For more health and wellness tips, check out some of our other posts.