I am always amazed at the fabrications and stories about me that I hear others have spread. I’m sure all of you have heard things about your life you had no idea existed until your personal self-appointed experts revealed it to the world. For example, I have found out through these experts that I
- was forced to marry because of Laci being pregnant
- was moving to a foreign country and leaving the church
- was a pastor from D.C. and commuted the 90 minutes every week
- had cancer and was dying
- demand money from grieving families to be paid to the church if I do their loved one’s funeral
- was selling the church and shutting it down
- pastor a church that is full of corruption behind the scenes
… and a 100 other stories that were as or more preposterous as the ones I mentioned above. Of course, none of them are true and would have been purely laughable if gullible people wouldn’t have believed them. However, before I feed self-pity and think I’m the only one to experience such a strange phenomenon, let’s see if it happened to Jesus.
Jesus was accused of being:
- A deceiver (John 7:12).
- An illegitimate child (John 8:41).
- Demon possessed (Matt. 9:34; John 7:20).
- Beelzebub, using the power of Satan to cast out demons (Matt. 10:25).
- Mentally ill (John 10:20).
- A blasphemer – witnesses were produced to reinforce this charge (Matt. 9:3; 26:65; Mark 2:7)
- A destroyer of the Temple in Jerusalem (Mark 14:58)
- An enemy to the Law of Moses
It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
Jesus made it clear that as they falsely accused him and fabricated stories that were grossly untrue, so will they do the same to us as his followers.
Paul was not immune to these false theories concerning his life and purposes. He was accused of:
Extorting God’s people (2 Cor. 2:17; 11:7-21).
Being a false apostle (Gal. 1:11-2:10; 2 Cor. 11:16-12:12).
Being a flatterer (1 Thess. 2:5).
Blasphemy (Acts 24:6).
Being a man pleaser and a coward (Gal. 1:10; 1 Thess. 2:4).
Being greedy (1 Thess. 2:5,9).
Being a deceiver and a crafty manipulator (2 Cor. 6:8; 12:16).
Seeking glory from men (1 Thess. 2:6).
Being a “cult” leader (Acts 24:5).
Being a criminal (Acts 16:20-21; 24:5; 2 Tim. 2:9).
These men dealt with these self-appointed judges almost on a daily basis. They realized that when you are in a position of authority and leadership, it will attract the ire of those in opposition. One thing the enemy knows – the power of words. Words can change a person’s reputation overnight and castrate the influence of that person from anymore opportunity to persuade others. If Satan didn’t understand this, he wouldn’t waste the time in influencing opposition to destroy reputations with the sabers of words.
Attacks are indicators that an enemy realizes your potential and future. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t spend resources and waste time on something meaningless. If the adversary believes in your future, shouldn’t you?
What do we do to rise above the attacks? Live your life above reproach and with integrity so that when someone accuses you – no one will believe it.
Remember, you don’t have to answer every critic. A lion doesn’t turn around every time a dog barks. If you do attempt to answer every critic, your life will bog down in the unnecessary leaving your purpose unattended. Remain focused on why you are here and pray for those who have chosen dead-end lives with no production.
Learn to laugh, smile, and keep your faith alive in Christ. In the end, He is the only one that will matter.
I have been in ministry now for 21 years, on television nearly a decade, and have the honor of being the Chairman of the United States Global Leadership Council based out of Washington DC. I have learned a few things along the way and here are a few.
I have learned
- that in leadership you are always a target, but it is no reason to quit or give up on the mission you have in life
- that no matter what happens, life will go on and my ability to cope with change makes all the difference
- forgiveness, honesty, and patience are three of the greatest assets of life
- not to try to be the most liked in the room, but be the best learner in the room
- it’s okay to say “I don’t know’ and “I’m sorry”
- that tact in speaking will accomplish more than an opinionated rant
- when to hold on and when to let go
I hope you have an awesome day!