Spiritual Principles

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The following references, which are some of my favourites, are provided as examples but are by no means the only places these seven success principles can be found in The Bible.

Commitment

Commit your way to the LORD and trust in Him, and He will act. – Psalm 37:5

An Open Mind (Receptiveness)

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. - Matthew 7:7

Persistence

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. - 2 Timothy 4:7

Flexibility

I prefer a flexible heart to an inflexible ritual - The Message, Matt 12:6

Faith

If you have faith, the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. – Matthew 17:20

Thankfulness (Gratitude)

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Passion

He will grant your heart's desire and fulfil all your plans. – Psalm 20:4

Of course, the principles we have been discussing need not be connected or concerned with spiritual development at all. However, if there's one thing that characterises the genre today, it is the recognition that forming some kind of connection with a higher plane of existence is, in some way, fundamentally connected with the process of personal development.

Some writers, including myself, prefer to use the term 'God' in describing this personal connection, but many others prefer alternative labels, such as 'the universe' or 'the collective mind' or 'creative consciousness'. Personally, I have no difficulty with any of these terms since I simply see each of them as attributes of God. Furthermore, when we take on the task of becoming the person we need to be, in order to reach our most important goals, I believe that we are essentially engaging in God's business for our lives.

In Christian tradition, the process of personal growth describes adding characteristics such as virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and love to our character (2 Peter). Other religious traditions teach similar concepts to those addressed in personal development literature. For example, consider the four 'factors of fulfilment' from Buddhism: wealth, worldly satisfaction, spirituality and enlightenment. In my workshops, I am sometimes informed by delegates that the concepts are also wholly represented within Islam.

The late Stephen Covey said that the seven habits outlined in his book were to be found in every major world religion. Exactly the same is true of the seven success principles we have been studying. Religious teaching from many traditions, if divided on lesser issues, seems to be completely unified on many of the greater issues relating to the human condition concerning what will bring us happiness and how we should relate to our fellow humans, which is (just in case you missed it) with love.

God is much bigger than religion and he is in the business of personal transformation. In other words, your own personal growth and the process of becoming the person you need to be, in order to reach your goals, is a spiritual process that is fundamentally connected with finding and achieving your life-purpose. And that, I personally believe, is God-given.


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