The Weariness of Criticism

This week, I’ve (Randy) been reading through 2 Samuel in my Scripture reading. 2 Samuel 16.5-14 especially caught my attention.

King David and his army are fleeing Jerusalem because of David’s son Absalom’s rebellion. On their way into hiding, “a man came out of the village cursing them.” This guy is yelling insults and actually throwing rocks at David and his army (I dunno, that sounds pretty dumb to me!) Fortunately for him, David chooses not to respond, but rather to continue on with the mission at hand (getting out of town!). David knew the outcome was ultimately in God’s hands, anyway. Criticism goes with the territory of being a leader!

But the last statement in the paragraph especially struck me:

The king and all who were with him grew weary along the way, so they rested when they reached the Jordan River.

I’m sure the journey itself was tiring (they were fleeing for their lives after all), but it’s interesting this verse immediately follows the description of this guy’s harassment of David. Life is challenging enough as it is. It’s even more challenging when people you serve and lead hurl insults (if not rocks) at you!

If you’re a leader, you know that criticism goes with the territory of being a leader. Leaders have a lot to learn from David, who in this case, chose not to be distracted from his purpose. Leaders also receive confirmation in this story what they already know by experience, that criticism is tiring.

If you’re a leader currently weathering attacks, stay focused on the mission and keep moving forward. Know that the outcome is ultimately in God’s hands!

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