Take-away #5 from Chuck Swindoll
“You will have people that worship you and those that criticize you. Neither deserve much of your time.”
- The first thing I thought of was a statement I heard in my first ministry; “Praise is like perfume, it smells nice, but you don’t want to drink it!”
- Praise from people is something we all like to hear, but none of us like to admit. It is good to get a pat on the back once and a while. We all need that, and as a leader, I should make sure that I do that regularly. But, the end results of the day are not how many atta-boys we get, but how many lives are changed. That is all that matters. How well we did or did not do is of no consequence.
- That does not excuse proper preparation. We need to prepare as if it is the last message we will ever speak or sing. But the results are up to God, not us.
- The praise of man can be dangerous, almost intoxicating. But it means nothing if we are not speaking what God tells us to speak. We should never prepare a message for the atta-boys! We should prepare it for life change in people.
- In the same way, criticism can not the strength out of you. It can take away any motivation that you have to serve people and make you think that you are making no difference or very little impact for the Kingdom.
- The difference in critiquing and criticism is this: criticism is based on a preference that someone has and a motivation to make you what that person wants; critiquing is a desire to see someone succeed and become what God wants you to be. Getting advice and counsel from people is wise. The wisest man to ever live wrote a lot about getting counsel.
- We must be careful that we do not base ministry direction on the criticism of people. We must do what God calls us to do. It is HIS church, not the critics. (That does not discount wise counsel, but wise counsel does NOT come from someone who constantly criticizes, no matter how much they may give or how much influence they may have.)
- At the end of the day, we have to answer for our obedience to God’s plan for our life, not the critics plan and not the plan of the person who constantly praises us.