"Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked. I have been in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles ... and in danger from false brothers."1
Flack is a normal part of front-line action. Whenever a person invests his or her life in a worthwhile cause and does a good job, especially if he or she doesn't follow the party line, is not acting in a "politically correct" manner, or swims against the tide of current thought, he or she will inevitably become a target for criticism from those who feel threatened or are in some way jealous. The Apostle Paul's life is a prime example.
The point is, flack is a part of the price of leadership. If we don't want flack, all we need to do is to stay a part of the status quo, don't rock the boat, be politically correct, or stay at home. But safety is not the way of true success. As one poet wrote:
I would rather stumble a thousand times
Attempting to reach a goal,
Than to sit in a crowd
In my weather-proof shroud,
A shriveled and self-satisfied soul.
I would rather be doing and daring
All of my error-filled days,
Than watching and waiting, and dying
Smug in my perfect ways.
I would rather wonder and blunder,
Stumbling blindly ahead,
Than for safety's sake
Lest I make a mistake
Be sure, be safe, be dead.
- Author Unknown
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me a passion to live for and serve You. Help me always to take a stand for all that Your Word, the Bible, teaches. And please give me the courage to not shrink back because of the attacks of those who oppose truth and Your work. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. 2 Corinthians 11:24-26 (NIV).