Bartering with God

No deal sign

Very often I pass a church, temple or mosque and see crowds outside. Initially I used to think that God must be so pleased to have so many worshipping him, till I realized very few came to worship; most came to barter. “God, please give me a promotion, and I will give you my whole month’s salary!” or “I will come to church every Sunday!” or “I will give up smoking or drinking!”

Says writer Ben Edwards, ‘We’ve all heard it, and most of us have either thought it, or even prayed it.” “God, if You do this thing I currently want, then I’ll do something I probably should do but haven’t.” And that’s how the world works; people want something in return for something done or given. People don’t just give away favours. They want something in return. So we begin to barter with others when we are seeking their favours.

We started doing this when we were young, trading our veg sandwiches for our friend’s non-veg. The other person has something we want — either an item or the ability to accomplish something, so we offer him something we think he wants.

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Robert Clements
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Robert Clements

Robert Clements is a journalist and newspaper columnist. With an estimated 6 million readership, Bob’s Banter is published in over 30 newspapers and magazines in nearly every state in India, as well as in the top newspapers of Bangladesh, Dubai and Pakistan and is also translated into Hindi. He blogs at and can be reached at