"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming..." John LeachHow many of us hold onto the criticism of others so tightly that it hinders us from continuing forward into what God has called us to do? Or possibly worse yet, how many have shared their dream, their vision, and developing passion to be shot down before ever taking that first step?
"The credit belongs to the man (or woman) who is actually in the arena..." There will always be critics. Those who would rather tear down and point out fault than allow someone else to succeed. We cannot allow them to be the ones who determine our value (or lack there of.) We can however, look at their words through the light of the Truth and ask God to reveal if He is asking us to change anything. If He is; may we follow His lead. If we find no truth to be in the criticism; we MUST LET THE WORDS GO.
It is amazing how we can receive so many words of affirmation and praise; but the one critical comment has the lasting sting.
This is one of those posts that I have begun to write several times but the timing just didn't seem right. God has released me to post it now.
Today I pray that God will use this post as the person who is waiting off to the side. The one with the water and the rag to wipe your brow. "Press on! Keep your gaze up! But also remember to keep your guard up."
"There is no effort without error or shortcoming..." It is o.k. if your human state has made an appearance. Accept God's love and grace toward you. Humbly make things right if there has been wrong done. Stand strong in who God pronounces you to be and get back into the arena.
If you have not yet stepped into the arena; don't let the idea of one "whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood..." deter you. Those same things that have brought the dust sweat and blood; bring peace, a sense of purpose, and fullness of joy.
Time is up. Take one last drink; you can do this.
"You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." Psalm 16:11 (NIV)
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33 (NIV)
"But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. "Get behind me, Satan!" he said. "You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." Mark 8:33 (NIV)
"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:21
"but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31
I am praying for your strength to be renewed.