"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."
Whoever made that statement did not serve as a pastor. They probably worked in the back of an office stuffing envelopes and not interacting with people.
Words do hurt. Words aimed at children literally shape their destinies. Good or bad.
Paul landed on an island in some of his final travels in the book of Acts. He was helping gather firewood when a poisonous snake bit him. The Bible says that Paul shook it off. Jesus said in Mark we will trample on serpents. Can I give you a different perspective of this? Maybe walking the in the power of God means that we shake off words from the people we work with and minister to. There are poisonous snakes in churches. They are coiled and ready to strike. They were this way before we got there and will be that way after we leave.
Many leaders have not learned the art of "shaking off snakes." They have let the poison seep into their system and affect the way they operate.
Here are two simple points:
1. If they are upset with you, realize it probably is another issue, not you.
2. Because of the first truth, treat them with love and compassion. Your maturity is determined by how you respond. To react is to speak out of hurt. To respond is to speak in love.
So....... When you have a poisonous snake bite you, you have two choices: REACT or Respond.
Leaders who start movements are not affected by the internal poison others have let build up. They respond in love and are able to say: "I am sorry and I love you."
Deal with the poison in yourself and you can respond to others who have poison built up in them.