You can be spiritual but not religious, or religious but not spiritual, or both at the same time. Many people don’t realize there’s a difference, but there actually is.
Since I’m not part of one of the major religions, when people ask me if I’m religious, I tend to say “No, but I’m spiritual.” Some people are confused by such an answer, but most people don’t realize that the two terms are not synonymous. I’ll try to explain in more detail.
According to Merriam-Webster the two terms appear to have very similar meanings:
1: relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity
2: of, relating to, or devoted to religious beliefs or observances
3: scrupulously and conscientiously faithful
1: of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit : incorporeal
2 a: of or relating to sacred matters b: ecclesiastical rather than lay or temporal
3: concerned with religious values
4: related or joined in spirit
5 a: of or relating to supernatural beings or phenomena b: of, relating to, or involving spiritualism : spiritualistic
Over time however, people’s impression of what these words mean has changed. Religious tends to refer more to the practice of organized religion, or at least the ritualized practice of activities relating to a religion. Spirituality tends to refer more to faith and belief, with or without any ritualized practices.
Often, members of large organized religions view non-churchgoing people as faithless and lacking spirituality. Some also consider spirituality to be a “New Age” term which holds little or no meaning. Neither of these is true. Attending church does not definitively prove faith or spirituality. While terms like “spiritual being” are frequently used in the New Age community, one does not need to be part of the New Age movement to feel that they are a spiritual person.
It’s also quite possible to be religious and not be spiritual. Many people simply go through the motions of religious activity with no real belief in those actions. This can happen because a person has lost faith, isn’t a true believer in the religion they feel they must practice, or other reasons. Spirituality and faith come from the heart, and can exist with or without a named religion and ritualized action.
In the end, whether you consider yourself to be spiritual, religious or both is up to you. Only you know for sure if you have real faith or if you’re just going through the motions because you think you have to.