Below is some century old advice that is just as current as it could be. It was written originally by a preacher for preachers, but the principles are applicable to any Christian working in any vocation.
“Keep about your work! Do not flinch because the lion roars, do not stop to stone the devil’s dogs, do not fool away your time chasing the devil’s rabbits; do your work! Win souls to Christ! Let liars lie, let sectarians quarrel, let editors publish, let the devil do his work, but see to it that nothing hinders you from fulfilling the work God has given you to do…….
Keep about your work! God has not sent you to make money; nowhere has God commanded you to get rich. He has never bidden you to defend your character, nor to contradict falsehoods about yourself which Satan or one of his servants may start to peddle. If you do these things you’ll do nothing else, except be at work for yourself and not the Lord”
The above advice has proven priceless to me, and likely to countless others as well since it was first penned well over one hundred years ago.
In the Psalms it was written, then later quoted in the letter to the Hebrews:
“From my distress I called upon the Lord; The Lord answered me and set me in a large place. The Lord is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me?” Psalm 118:6-7 & Hebrews 13:6
Truth! “What can man do to me?” is a rhetorical question for good reason. When God is your savior, is savior in more ways than one. He saves us from the pettiness of looking out for #1. He does that for us. He has our backs.
Moses was criticized and demeaned by the very people he was leading to freedom. The prophets were harried, persecuted, imprisoned and killed. God’s enemies threatened to stop Nehemiah from rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. They simply kept at it with a trowel in one hand and a spear in the other (Nehemiah 4:15- 20). The apostles were persecuted, jailed, beaten and killed, but the gospel continued to be spread by the saints and the church was established everywhere.
If our priority is avoiding criticism or conflict, we will never accomplish anything.
Jesus, our example, was faithful in spite of being contradicted more than anyone. He was light and the darkness would not tolerate him. Follow him. Speak as he spoke. Do as he did. Love as he loved. There is no greater aspiration than this. The darkness will not tolerate us either, but the darkness will not last.