TEXAS FAITH 51: Why does a strong belief in heaven and hell motivate people?

Dallas Morning News,

Dallas Morning News,

Each week we will post a question to a panel of about two dozen clergy, laity and theologians, all of whom are based in Texas or are from Texas. They will chime in with their responses to the question of the week. And you, readers, will be able to respond to their answers through the comment box.

Baylor University released its latest survey of religion in America last month. As always, there’s plenty to digest. The findings about competing beliefs in heaven and hell especially caught my eye.

According to the survey, more people believe in heaven than hell. That’s perhaps not surprising. Most of us like the idea of heaven more than hell.

But the report also showed that people who believed in both were more satisfied with their jobs, strove for excellence and found meaning in their work. This is how the report framed this discovery:

"The majority of people who absolutely believe in Heaven and Hell are always or often motivated by their faith to pursue excellence, which certainly would please most organization owners. This relationship is strongest among those who absolutely believe in Hell."

So, what does this say to you? Why would it be that a strong belief in heaven and hell are a motivating factor in people’s lives?

NITYANANDA CHANDRA DAS, minister of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness), Dallas 
The report illustrates that those who have recognized that there are metaphysical consequences for one’s actions and decisions are more likely to be mindful and focused in their endeavors.

I find that this mindfulness is even more prevalent for those who understand consequences that are dealt with in this life are due to actions of previous lives. Thus, when difficulty approaches, the intelligent do not blame others, such as society and ultimately God.

Rather, such a mindful person blames themselves realizing that by God’s powerful law of karma one is completely protected to only suffer only those circumstances that are actually due to oneself. Not a blade of grass can move without the sanction of God.