It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the one in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly . . . who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end of the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have never known neither victory or defeat.
- Teddy Roosevelt
There are so many out there with the "gift" of criticism. As loud and as discouraging as they might be - they do not count! God is honored by those whose faces are marred by dust and sweat and blood as they strove for obedience.
I worry that too many of the great battles Christians are fighting today are over styles of music, money spent on fixing up buildings used once a week, curriculum to be used for a vacation Bible School, etc. Seldom are our battles over the souls of men and women, the saving and preservation of marriages, the leading of our children to Christ, discipling new believers into mature Christians or the standing tall against an ungodly culture. Oh that more Christian men would enter the arena of battle, to strive valiantly for Christ. Away with half-hearted devotion which is no devotion at all.
I thank God that Paul said to Timothy, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith" and not, "I played it safe, I didn't muss my hair, I took no risks, I watched from the sidelines, and I was valiant in my applause of others."
God bless you with a willingness to fight the good fight! continue reading