Imam al-Ghazali (rh) gave the following advice to those involved in religious work.
Things you should not do
- Arguments and futile discussions.
- Preaching what you do not practice. Preach yourself first. If you start practicing, then you can start preaching it. Give up pretentious talk. Do not be fake in teaching. Allah (swt) detests the fake.
- Getting involved with the ruling class. Do not be impressed by the elite. Refrain from praising celebrities because Allah (swt) dislikes praising the sinners.
- Accepting generosity from kings or those of a higher status. You will end up feeling indebted. You should be independent of the ruling power.
Things you should do
- Be with Allah (swt) the way you would want your servant to be with you. Before taking an action, think if your hypothetical servant did that act, would it please me or not?
- Love for others what you love for yourself.
- Live as if you have a week to live. You should prepare to improve yourself according to this mentality.