Does preaching make you humble?

How many of you know somebody who constantly quotes religious scriptures or will be seen active in public service at the local temple, yet their morality is questionable?

This popped in conversation at work and it turns out everyone – and we’re all from different ethnic backgrounds and faith identities – but all of us could think of at least one example.

As a child, my parents encouraged me to go to the gurdwara (Sikh temple) every Sunday. This was partly because I attended Punjabi classes there but also because they wanted to instil faith in me from a young age.

By the time I got to college, I started to notice many of the people whose parents would boast about their “good” children who practised their faith, were another picture the night before on Birmingham’s clubbing scene.

Now you might say it takes one to know one – of course I was on a night out to notice these people enjoying themselves, and most of them were just having fun, as we all do. But it’s those few who feign this mask of humility and judge others for their care-free lifestyle, yet act in the most disrespectful way when their guard is down, which truly irritates me.

Why can’t these people just be who they are, all the time? Why must they lie and act God-fearing, yet in privacy be deceitful and malicious? Why must you be judged on how often you go to the gurdwara instead of your good deeds in everyday life?

And the bigger question – why do some ‘religious types’ think its okay to quote religious scriptures to the world yet treat the opposite sex in the most perverse manner?! 

I suppose the same could be said for the gossips at places of worship. I’ve always found it laughable that people – and it’s not just women who are guilty of this – will come to the House of God and rather than focus their attention on worship, they’ll be exchanging sneers and comments on others, or juicy snippets of gossip!

Moreover, the management of places of worship – again this is across all faiths – seems to be power battles of the older generation – who clearly have little other focus in their lives – play the political charade that is ‘management committees’. The corruption in some places of worship is shocking and makes you question whether people really are fearful of the God they claim to believe in.

Of course these are generalisations. Not all worshippers are immoral or corrupt. I’m referring to the few religious types who act one way to maintain a public image, yet go against the basic principles of their faith by being deceitful, disrespectful and lying. Do they have a conscience?

At the end of it all, there is only one judge and jury who the truth can never be hidden from. And He should be feared.

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