Religion is one of the really sensitive topics to discuss. This is because it is considered a way of life. And so, when someone challenges your faith, then that person is challenging who you are. Hence this is a topic we tend to avoid, especially in business and cooperate environments. Else, it can destruct what has actually brought us together.
However, it is a meaningful conversation that we need to have. If we say that religion is a part of us, then we have to ask ourselves, does religion play a role in our success? How does being spiritual foster prosperity? These are the critical questions that this article seeks to provide answers to based on scriptures, sacred Jewish text, and others.
What’s The Difference Between Religion And Spirituality?
Religion and spirituality are often mistakenly understood as the same terms. This is because religion and spirituality can be hard to differentiate. But there are some pretty defined differences between the two.
Religion is a specific set of organized beliefs and practices, usually shared by a community or group. Spirituality is more of individual practice and has to do with having a sense of peace and purpose. It also relates to the process of developing beliefs around the meaning of life and connection with others.
People may be religious and spiritual, but to be religious does not automatically make you spiritual or vice–versa.
The following characteristics differentiate a spiritual person from a religious person.
Differences Between Religious and Spiritual People
1. Group Versus Individual Beliefs.
Religion involves a group of people brought together by their common faith or beliefs about the divine. Religion shapes one’s beliefs, attitudes, and actions by giving importance to adherence to rules. This unites people who share a religion, as they share character traits and outlooks on life.
On the other hand, spirituality is a private experience of the divine. Spirituality concentrates more on each person’s soul. When someone is spiritual, they can pick out the things they believe from any religion and combine these truths to formulate their own set of beliefs.
So, when asking the question, “Can you be spiritual and religious?” the answer is “yes—if your true beliefs fall in line with a certain religion.” However, many who are spiritual believe that everyone’s ultimate truth is the same, despite any differences among them.
2. Progression of Beliefs
In religion, the belief system is usually predefined. In this way, religion requires people to be obedient to their beliefs. They keep them fixed to scriptures or what is taught to them by religious leaders.
Alternatively, a spiritual person’s set of beliefs evolves as they learn more through their personal study of their spirituality.
3. Spirituality Has No Rules.
A spiritual person often arrives at their own truths while developing their spirituality, rather than following an ideology or set of rules.
The experience is often personal and occurs in private, allowing people to follow their own intuition and do things in their own best interests.
On the other hand, a religious person accepts the truth as defined by his or her religion, and these truths are often documented and shared with others.
In religion, there is often a promise of punishment or reward for maintaining beliefs or following rituals. But for spirituality, the prize is just one’s inner peace.
Spirituality encourages people to focus their energy on positive things and to act based solely on love. When someone is spiritual, they do what they feel is right, despite any potential consequences.
4. Origination of Beliefs
A religious individual learns or develops their beliefs based on the experiences they are told about their religious founders or through parables.
Alternatively, spirituality encourages people to create their own path, allowing people to take their own journey of enlightenment.
With spirituality, self-discovery has no boundaries. Spiritual people often learn and develop their beliefs through their own experiences. This empowers people to discover their truths without setting any limits on the depth of one’s understanding.
How Does Religion And Spirituality Influence Success
Jews or Jewish people are the most successful people in the world. Less than 0.2% of the world population is Jewish, yet 22% of Nobel Prize winners are Jews. 41% of Nobel laureates in economics are Jewish, 11% of the world’s billionaires, and 20% of the world’s richest 50 people. What accounts for the high level of success amongst this small group of people?
The book Jews hold most dear and sacred is the Torah. It is also known as the Hebrew Bible. And to Christians as the Old Testament. Rabbi Levi Brackman and Sam Jaffe wrote the book Jewish Wisdom for Business Success. In the book, they indicated that “wealth, according to the Torah, is not something that we automatically receive just because we work hard for it.
Hard work is needed, but real financial success does not come without a blessing from God. Just think of all the people you know who have sought wealth and have not attained it.
Now think about those who were successful because they happened to be in the right place at the right time. Without the blessing of being in the right place at the right time, real success eludes the seeker”.
It is essential to understand that without that Divine energy, natural and sustained financial success is impossible. Divine power is infinite. Being infinite means that there is no end to the number of possibilities and opportunities that emanate from it.
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps”Proverbs 16:9
Some key factors contribute to the success of the Jews and other people who are either religious and spiritual. These include:
Key Factors That Contribute To The Success Of Religious People; Jews In Perspective
1. Belief System
For some religions or groups of people, wealth acquisition is evil. Hence, they encourage the rejection of all things worldly.
They usually have all sorts of quotations to support these claims. Such people are often prone to poverty. And they live very subsistent life. On the other hand, Judaism, which is the religion of the Jews, has never considered poverty as a virtue. The Jewish founding fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were blessed with cattle and lands in abundance. They believe that with your financial house in order, it is easier to pursue your spiritual life.
There are Jewish sayings that provoke people to seek wealth and success. Some of these famous sayings are:
- “Where there is no flour, there is no Bible.”
- “Poverty causes transgression (wrongdoing).”
- “Poverty in a man’s house is worse than fifty plagues (diseases)”
Hence for the Jews, wealth is good. Poverty is never an option. So, they will do everything within their capacity to be successful in their chosen fields to attract abundant wealth.
David McClelland, a Gentile, observed in Jews an “achievement drive” that motivates them to pursue academic, professional and creative excellence. This is key to success because having a high need for achievement encourages an individual to set challenging goals. Work hard to achieve the goals. And use the skills and abilities needed to accomplish them.
There are others who may not necessarily be religious, but believe in the power of thought. Thoughts repeated over time become beliefs. This is why having an unyielding faith in your success is a critical first step. Without it, you will hit a wall or become stagnant and unable to reach your goals.
Success giants such as Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Cuban, J.K. Rowling, and others like them have one defining trait. They all possess an unwavering belief in the possibility of their success.
You must be able to consistently uphold the belief that you can, and will, succeed. Some of these people also know and apply spiritual laws of success in their daily life. This gives them the ability to create unlimited wealth with effortless ease and experience success in every endeavor.
2. Adherent To Rules And Regulations
As indicated earlier, religion is grounded by a set of rules and regulations. This helps us to operate within certain boundaries and limits.
As a result, this can help to keep believers disciplined and focused. Being disciplined and focused is a characteristic of highly effective people. Hence such people achieve success with ease, once used productively.
Unfortunately, some people go to the extreme and become fundamentalistic. A fundamentalist is someone who is highly attached to a religious set of beliefs. These people end up not being able to engage with other people simply because they don’t believe in what others believe in.
This divisive nature certainly does not contribute to success. And therefore, it can be a deterrent to success.
3. Life Choices
Religion may affect an individual’s life choices, including education, marriage, career, how many children to have, and how children should be raised. Education is not a priority; instead, a life of service is more important. Meanwhiles, for other religions, education is a high priority.
For centuries, Jews have been referred to as “The people of the Book.” As part of their religious training, Jews intensely study the Bible or Torah.
Beyond the context of religious readings, critical thinking skills are encouraged and developed in the Jewish community. This highly transferable skills also form the basis for many secular pursuits in the humanities, the sciences and business. It is therefore not surprising that a large number of the Jews have been awarded Nobel Prizes. And majority of them being amongst the world’s richest people.
Again, in religious groups where there is a solid motivation to have many children, wealth accumulation can be complex. And so, the ability of parents to support children to pursue their passion and be successful later in life can be pretty challenging.
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” – 3 John 1:2 (King James Version)
From the previous discussions, it is obvious that religion plays a critical role in success. And being spiritual can foster prosperity. People may be religious and spiritual. Although being religious does not automatically make you spiritual or vice versa. In either case, there are rules, regulations, laws, and belief systems that guide their lives. This helps some devotees to create wealth with ease, and experience success in whatever they do. The Jews are a typical example.
It is, therefore, crucial that even if you are not religious, you need to understand and apply spiritual laws in your daily life. Spirituals laws are the laws of nature. Using them can help us create anything we want. And also bring about the fulfillment of our deepest desires.
5 Key Takeaways for the Reader from the Article
Point 1: People may be religious and spiritual, but to be religious does not automatically make you spiritual or vice versa.
Point 2: Some religions promote and provoke people to seek wealth and success. Meanwhile, others see wealth acquisition as evil and do not pursue the acquisition of worldly things.
Point 3: Religious rules and regulations help some people to achieve success with ease. In other situations, it can be a deterrent to success.
Point 4: There are spiritual laws for success in life, and you don’t have to be religious to know and apply them.Point 5: Knowledge and application of spiritual laws of success in your daily life can provide you the ability to create wealth with ease, and experience success in your life.