Two signs come to mind.
First, formal religion does not allow real emotions.
Emotions means we may be getting too intimate.
Emotions also mean we are not in control. It is a scary thing when we are not in control.
Putting your head on Jesus’ breast? Sure Peter did this but not me, no way.
Crying in public like Jesus did when He wept? It may be okay for Jesus but not me, No way.
No emotions means we want to stay in control.
Second, religion is not rational.
I know a life of faith is not always rational from our point of view. I am not talking about this. I am talking about the crazy things we often do as Christians when it simply does not make sense.
For instance, in my area of the country a lot of people still think women should not preach. You can have this opinion but don’t send them overseas as missionaries to preach which is often done. So women can teach men overseas but not American men? This is not rational.
We can’t have an explanation for everything. But one sign your life is based on men’s traditions instead of the Bible is when we have contradictory behavior and we try to justify it.
Our contradictory doctrines means we want to be in control.
Hmm…maybe religion is just wanting to be in control.