What do we get for the time and effort we put into faithful adherence to our spiritual traditions?
Some promise salvation, a future reward for choosing the right side. They operate like an insurance policy, where your faith and works are taken as payment to ensure a future payout.
Some promise enlightenment, a state of being you can achieve if you work hard enough and make the right choices. They operate like a personal trainer, where you are guided through systems and decisions and the repetitive perfection of skills in order to become different than you were before.
Some promise power, access to resources and skills that others don’t know how to use. They operate like a discount club, where your adherence and practice get you a membership card, and you’re promised access to the skills and knowledge you need to get what you want.
As for me, I’d rather be part of one that promises development, a combination of knowledge and opportunities for learning which can be used to improve yourself. One that operates like a university, where you get to choose your own path towards self-improvement enabled by people who know things you want to learn. One that provides guidance and instruction, but also provides opportunities to contribute to the larger body of thought and information.
What do you get for what you put into your own spiritual path?