President Donald Trump spoke at Liberty University’s commencement over the weekend. Liberty University is the largest Evangelical university in the United States and the commencement drew 50,000 people. His speech was more personal than others he has given, and it wasn’t the campaign-style speech he typically gives.
Commencement speeches are usually laden with advice for graduates, and President Trump’s speech was no different. He challenged Liberty University students to follow their convictions even in the light of criticism.
Remember this, nothing worth doing ever, ever, ever came easy. Following your convictions means you must be willing to face criticism from those who lack the same courage to do what is right — and they know what is right, but they don’t have the courage or the guts or the stamina to take it and to do it. It’s called the road less traveled.
That is excellent advice. President Trump addresses critics again in his speech.
…but the fact is no one has ever achieved anything significant without a chorus of critics standing on the sidelines explaining why it can’t be done. Nothing is easier or more pathetic than being a critic, because they’re people that can’t get the job done. But the future belongs to the dreamers, not to the critics. the future belongs to the people who follow their heart no matter what the critics say because they truly believe in their vision.
He is right those who are accomplished have had their share of critics. It is tough to push past the status quo whether that is in business, church, or politics.
A word of caution is necessary here. Critics are not always wrong, and labeling all critics as “pathetic” is not helpful.
Critics can sometimes be our friends. Proverbs tells us, “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy,” (Proverbs 27:5-6, ESV).
Sometimes we deserve the criticism when it comes in the form of a rebuke, and it helps us grow. We are wise to listen.
“A wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke,” (Proverbs 13:1, ESV). Also, we read, “A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool,” (Proverbs 17:10, ESV).
Then there’s this, “It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools,” (Ecclesiastes 7:5, ESV).
Sometimes we are following the wrong path, chasing a false vision, and have the wrong convictions. We need to be humble enough to make a course correction when we receive a godly rebuke.
It is simply not wise to reject all our critics as “pathetic” as some may be giving us the life-giving truth.
Watch his speech below: