It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
As the Presidential primaries mark the launch of the political playoffs, Roosevelt’s iconic Man in the Arena proverb bears remembering. It’s especially important to remember that Christians are called–even commanded–to pray for our leaders, regardless of whether or not we voted for them. We should actually want them to enjoy God’s favor and wisdom in order to do the best job possible for the good of our cities, states, and nation, and the world at large.
If you’ve ever wondered how Christians should function in the public square, I have a suggestion: Watch the video above. It is the address at the 2012 National Prayer Breakfast by author and radio host Eric Metaxas. He is engaging, respectful, funny, self-deprecating, respectful, very smart, well-prepared, truthful, respectful, gracious, and an ambassador for the faith that Christians everywhere can be proud of. Did I mention respectful?
I know it’s longer than an Instagram video, but it’s worth your time. Thank you, Mr. Metaxas for not only this address, but for the example you set for the rest of us to follow.