Remember the miller’s donkey

Few things are as confusing and painful as trying to glorify God and help people, but then finding that someone is displeased with your actions.

But some people aren’t going to be pleased no matter what we do. As Jesus once observed, “John [the Baptist] came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!” (Matthew 11:18-19)

How should we handle criticism, especially when our motive is to serve the Lord? I am reminded of a story told by famous missionary C.T. Studd:

“Remember the miller’s donkey.  The miller, son, and donkey went to the market. The miller rode the donkey all the way and people exclaimed, “Cruel man, riding himself and making his son walk.” So he got down and his son rode; then people slanged, “What a lazy son for riding while poor old father walks.” Then both father and son rode, and people then said, “Cruelty to animals, poor donkey.” So they got down and carried the donkey on a pole, but folks said, “Here are two asses carrying another ass.” Then all three walked and people said, “What fools to have a donkey and not ride it.” So let’s go ahead with our work for God and not care what folks say.”

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