“Upright citizens are good for a city and make it prosper, but the talk of the wicked tears it apart.”
– Proverbs 11:11
If you have been coaching very long, you probably have developed a “thick skin.” It’s not easy being in the line of fire for criticism that can come from any direction. Administrators, fans, fellow coaches, and players all have their own expectations of the job we should be doing. It’s easy for us to question ourselves and to crumble under the attack. David Roper, in his book A Burden Shared, says that there are four truths about criticism: (1) it always comes when we need it the least; (2) it often comes when we least deserve it; (3) it usually comes from people who are the least qualified to give it; and (4) it frequently comes in a form that is the least helpful to us.
I don’t know what criticisms you face today, but I would like to offer the following suggestions in dealing with them. First, stay calm and take your case to the Lord in prayer. Don’t quit and don’t stop. Count on the Lord to give you the strength and courage to face the storm. Find a brother or sister in Christ that can provide consistent encouragement. Seek relief and peace in His Word. And finally, know that you are never alone. Remember that every person you meet today is either a demolition site or a construction opportunity. Your words make a difference. Will they be weapons for destruction or tools for construction?
Lord, help me to choose my words carefully today. Help me to build others up rather than tear them down. Amen.