The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil. – Proverbs 15:28
As a pastor, I was (at times) led by the Holy Spirit to lead in ways that were not well-received by individual members of the church. The result was that some the opportunity to “gush some evil.” For example, over the decades I have been called an “arrogant dictator” and a “bulldozer.” One very refined, elderly lady told me that “every dog has his day and that my day was coming.” Another fellow who had decided to leave our fellowship told me, when I inquired as to the reason, that his wife said I couldn’t preach, but he disagreed. He felt that I could preach when I wanted to! I was once even told that I was not worth the dynamite to blow me all to ____ (fill in the blank).
I have always tried my best to “respond” and not “react” to insensitive comments, to “weigh my answers,” but the flesh often cries out against such attacks. Still I am reminded of the Christian leader who, when asked by a young protégée` why he did not answer vicious (and published) criticism by another, said, “O, dear sir, if he only knew the true darkness of my sinful heart, then what could he say?”
We are all flawed, and only able to serve by His grace. I probably deserved many of the rebukes that I received and each one made me “a little more like Jesus and a little less like me.” So, if you take nothing else away from moments like these mentioned, be reminded of your own frailty and faults and seek evermore to be like Jesus who when reviled, revileth not in return.
We must carefully forget ourselves, so that we regard ourselves as an object which has been sold and over which we no longer have any rights. – Jean-Pierre de Caussade