Monday, February 16, 2009

Dealing With Critics

Abe Lincoln once said: "If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how - the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what's said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference."

Wow. I can't think of anyone that this could apply to more than today's pastor.

Let's face it ... if you're not coming under some fire and attacks, you're probably not being very effective. Attacks and confrontation are just part of being in ministry. But Lincoln had a great perspective on his critics:

1. He acknowledged the existence of his critics. Abe knew he had critics. No doubt he knew their names and what their overall beef was with him. But it did not steal his passion for doing what he thought was right.

2. While he acknowledged that there were attacks against him, he didn’t feel the necessity to answer every one of his critics. As Lincoln put it, if he did this, he might as well close up shop. It would consume the time he needed to actually do his job.

3. He realized that all he could do is all he could do. He is motivated by doing his best; not by making people happy.

4. He kept perspective. Lincoln knew that his long-term success was determined, not by his short-term critics, but by the long-term results of his actions.

As you think of President’s Day … think of how you deal with your critics. And what can you learn today from Abe Lincoln?

[from MMI Weblog by Todd Rhoades]

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