Are you holding on to some religious traditions which are unknowingly adversely affecting your ability to innovate and thrive in today’s competitive marketplaces?
I say this because, if you’ll be honest, chances are that you have some mindsets which are not helping you to excel in your career or business as you should, we all do. I am talking about prejudices that stem from your faith which may be hurting your business. So let’s get started.
We all have traditional practices that we uphold and base our activities on. The sources of our traditions are as diverse as the traditions themselves.
We are all often aware that our environment and culture influence us in marked ways. As the years pass, we often lose track of the true source of some of the perspectives we hold on to.
According to the dictionary, one meaning of ‘tradition’ is a doctrine believed to have divine authority though not in the scriptures.
So the traditions I am referring to are actually not truly the teaching of the Torah at all, and yet they have been passed on to many of us because of our association with the Judeo-Christian faith.
I must state that after years of such religious traditions, our every society has been shaped by many of these mindsets.
So the three Jewish traditions which can all be seen in the way many of us approach God in prayer can be phrased as follows;
1. Lord, I thank You that I am not a gentile:
The problem with the man with this kind of prejudice — and therefore prays like this — is the fact that knowingly or unknowingly, he thinks he is better by reason of his nationality.
Such people look down on foreigners and won’t even consider that that foreigner might be better skilled for the job, better fit for the vacancy, or may even be more excellent at their chosen vocations.
From the Jewish perspective, a gentile is someone who is not of the Jewish faith. My experience in business has taught me that some of the best clients and business partners may be people who are not of your faith.
Now my question to you is, does your faith have respect for “unbelievers”? Do you unknowingly look down on them? The funny part is that this kind of prejudice even stifles the progress of any religion. Maybe that’s because you can’t have more of that you disdain; you can’t win them if you don’t like them.
Your business fortunes can turn around if you learn to embrace multinationals and start networking with influential people in your niche, whether locally or internationally. And how do you relate with them if you secretly think they’re of a lesser sort.
2. Lord, I thank You that I am not a woman:
The second religious tradition that hurts many businesses is the good old male chauvinism. Basically, this is the belief that men are superior to women. True, men may be superior in physical strength to women, but even that, guys, do you remember that girl in basic school who used to beat you up? Guess what, there are always exceptions to every rule!
Any belief that women are less human than men have no backing in scripture. If you care to know, the New Testament of the Bible says that God sees both men and women as “sons” and equally qualified to serve Him in any capacity, no discrimination whatsoever. (See Galatians 3:28 KJV)
As a business owner, you will have to rid yourself of every tendency to look down on women, be it women clients and customers, women employees, or women job seekers.
Modern politics has shown us that women make some of the best national leaders. Over and over, our social media analytics show that there are more women running businesses on Instagram than men. Maybe this is because the number of women-owned businesses increased nearly 3,000% since 1972 according to the “2018 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report” commissioned by American Express.
3. I thank You that I am not a slave:
Even though this is in reference to purchased slaves, I want to make the case that an employer in the modern economies of today can be referred to as “slaves” in the sense that they have masters to whom they are required to obey.
Now, thanking God that you’re not a slave is not wrong in itself, unless we also harbour the notion that people with employment are second class.
The many writings by motivational speakers who seek to lead you to consider starting your own business and working for yourself have compounded this prejudice against gainful employment. How well will our economies do if we all stop working for others? Who will work in government civil service and in our forces?
Unfortunately, we have business owners who have zero regard for the very people who work for them.
Helpful religious traditions?
True, these attitudes and religious traditions harm businesses, and they sadly stem from misguided and man-made interpretations of Scripture. But there are many invaluable business practices taught in Scripture. Actually, you might easily see that all the working business strategies have Scriptural foundation.
Your company will make more impact if you get right what God’s purpose and plan in people’s life.
Business excellence is possible, but it eludes many because of their xenophobic and racial sentiments, male chauvinism, and their disregard for gainful employment.
Can you think of any religious traditions or prejudices that stifle business growth? Please share them with us in the comments section. Thank you!