1 Samuel 10:27
“But the children of Belial said, How shall this man save us? And they despised him, and brought him no presents. But he held his peace.”
One thing I have learned after living in the ministry my entire life is that you will never make everyone happy. I watched my father pastor for many years, and it didn’t matter how kind he was, there were always people who didn’t like him or his leadership. As an evangelist, one of the common things I deal with preachers about is their handling of those who are causing problems in the ministry. No matter who you are, and no matter what your leadership style may be, you are not so wonderful that everyone is going to love you.
Saul found this out very early in his reign. Everyone should have been excited about their new king, but Saul found out that there were naysayers who criticized him and his leadership, even though he hadn’t done anything. His response to their criticisms was to stay silent and let his works speak for themselves.
There are always two groups of people with whom you will have to work. There will be those whose hearts God touches, and these people will be the backbone of your ministry and help you to further the cause that God. However, there is another group of people who, for whatever reason, will stay in your ministry, but they will cause you much heartache. These people will criticize and critique everything you do, but you must not let them get your spirit. Saul has his children of Belial, David had his Shimei, Moses had his sons of Korah, and Jesus had his Judas Iscariot. You are not so wonderful that you won’t have the same problems these men had.
Let me caution you not to allow the crowd of naysayers to pull you away from what God has called you to do. Many men have changed what they believed in an attempt to stop the criticisms, but you will find that changing won’t stop it. The best thing you can do as a leader is to stand strongly for the old paths and never let the criticisms change you. Don’t let their critique’s lure you into compromise.
Moreover, be careful that you don’t let these people affect your spirit. Saul was wise in staying silent. Many men have become spiteful because of the criticisms of the children of Belial. You have to be careful that you don’t use the power of your position to make your pulpit a whipping post for your critics. I have always said that those who are critical are people who are hurting because they are broken by sin. Don’t let their brokenness turn you into a spiteful leader. Continue to be a joyful person and love those people because one day you may be able to help them when they come to their end.
Furthermore, be careful to correct any area of your ministry where their criticisms are correct. Don’t be so obstinate that you are going to ignore where they are right. You will find that critics often take a bit of truth and blow it out of proportion. You need to correct where they are right so you can be a better leader to those who are behind you. Maybe God allowed the critics to voice your weakness so that you can correct it and better help others.
My friend, people are going to criticize, but your response will determine how you much you continue to help others. Don’t take the criticisms personally; just correct those areas where they are right and continue to pray for God to change their hearts.