Often times, when a person is in a leadership position or stands for what they believe is right, they are often misunderstood. I was told long ago, "It is lonely at the top," by a person that was mentoring me. I don't necessarily agree that it has to be lonely at the top, but I do agree that as a leader or witness of Christ, you can often be misunderstood.
In Rick Warren's podcast, he talked about how you don't always (most often) need to defend yourself when others attack you, when they don't agree with you. The more influence you garner, the more you will be attacked.
My friend and mentor, John Maxwell, also says something similar. He talks about how he doesn't spend his time defending what people say about him. He walks his talk and lives his values, and doesn't need to defend or justify his position. Just like Jesus did.
When Jesus was being attacked, he didn't defend himself. He just continued to love, serve and do the right thing no matter what others would say.
For me, Rick's message was a great reminder. If I am acting appropriately, loving people, serving people, living with integrity, that is enough. I don't need to defend myself or justify my actions. I am not always going to make others happy, and I may often be criticized or judged. In the end, I know one thing. I only have one person to please...
Remember, the more effective you are, the more you will be attacked. The more influence you have, the more you will be criticized. You will be misunderstood, but you and only you know your heart and your motives. If they are pure, that is enough. "You are most like Jesus when you don't defend yourself."
Be a good and faithful servant. Do the right thing no matter what others say. Turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39).
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