“When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” I Samuel 17:28 NIV
Sometimes the first thing that happens when you step up to lead is that people will criticize you. If you are getting criticized, it may not mean you’re doing anything wrong, it just means you’re a leader.
David’s oldest brother, Eliab, got mad at him because David wanted to fight Goliath. Eliab said to him, “I know your pride and how wicked your heart is. You came down only to watch the battle.” David knew his heart was clean. He didn’t let the criticism stop him. The only people who get criticized are the people who are leading. Criticism comes with the territory, so get used to it. Make sure your motives are pure and keep leading.
Know who the enemy is. Eliab wanted to start a fight with David, but David just ignored him. David knew that his brother was not the enemy. Goliath was the enemy. Usually the people that are shooting at you are not the enemy, so don’t shoot back. The Bible says, “We war not against flesh and blood.” Satan is the enemy.
Stay focused on the cause. David’s response to Eliab was, “Is there not a cause?” Goliath was the enemy, but he was not the cause. The cause was “that all the earth would know that there is a God in Israel.” For us the cause is “rescuing souls from hell.”
Jesus said it like this, “I will make you fishers of men.” Some battles are not worth fighting. If David could whip Goliath, he could have whipped his older brother, but that wouldn’t accomplish anything. Never take revenge on the people that are hurting you. That is not the cause. The cause is reaching people with the gospel.
My prayer for you is that you will be strengthened and rise above each situation you face.
This article originally appeared here.