“Endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” 2Ti 2:3 NKJV

There are two kinds of criticism: constructive criticism and destructive criticism. One builds you up and the other tears you down. Be wise in how you respond to unfounded criticism and gossip. When your critic wants to remain anonymous, they’re not worthy of your response. The story’s told of a pastor who received a letter that contained only one word—FOOL! Next Sunday he held it up and said to the congregation, “I received the strangest letter this past week.” He read the one-word text and said, “Somebody wrote it and forgot to sign it!” You say, “But they are attempting to hurt my reputation.” D. L. Moody said, “If I take care of my character, God will take care of my reputation” (See Isa 54:17). Any time you’re involved in a worthy cause, people will not only try to beat you down, but keep you down. In training Timothy for ministry, Paul told him to “endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” Difficult people are placed in our path not to defeat us, but develop us. Leaders know this, so they stay and finish the job regardless of the cost. Just like the captain goes down with the ship, the true leader stays until the work is done. You say, “Then how should I respond?” By praying for them! Jesus said, “Bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you…and you will be sons of the Most High” (Lk 6:28, 35 NKJV).

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