Friday, January 9, 2009


A king was proud of his skill in archery. Once, while passing through his country in his chariot, he happened to see several targets painted on trees with an arrow struck exactly at the bull's-eye of each target. He stopped the chariot and enquired about the extra-ordinary archer who could display such a wonderful skill in archery. The people brought before the king a foolish boy. On enquiry, he confessed to the king that he had no skill or formal training in archery. He used to strike arrows at trees carelessly and later paint concentric circles around the point where each arrow struck the trunk. With the arrow still intact at the centre of the painted target, he could easily deceive everyone.
There are many people who pretend expertise or holiness and deceive others. It is easy to impress others by deceptive appearances but only genuine quality will get lasting recognition. Humility is the basic quality of a saint. Persons pretending to be saints or prophets may proclaim publicly about their achievements or attributes. A pretentious preacher is said to have declared, "I am proud of my humility!" Sincere actions, truthful statements and a transparent life style distinguish a true saint from pretenders.
Jesus proclaimed, "How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look fine on the outside but are full of bones and decaying corpses on the inside. In the same way, on the outside you appear good to everybody, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and sins" {Matthew 23:27}.

By Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India.
This is Story No. 19 in this site. Please click ‘Older Post’ at the bottom of this page to read previous stories and click 'Newer Post' at the bottom of this page to read newer stories in this site. Please click on a word in the 'Story Themes' to read stories on that theme.

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