My encouragement is that I am in good company. Some of the folks I respect the most get criticism from both sides of the liberal/conservative dividing line--N.T. Wright, John Hartley, Rob Bell, Jim Wallis, etc. Maybe I'm doing something right (or I might be doing it all very wrong) but it still hurts. It still isn't easy to take. The part of me that wants to be the perfect pastor and be a blessing to everyone still aches under criticism, especially the criticism I'm not sure I can do anything about.
God of surprising grace,
Grant us the freedom to be imperfect, to displease you, and to bother your people without having to lose your love. Grant strength in and through weakness. And give us the wisdom and the discernment to follow you into the gray and the fine balance of proclaiming your gospel in love.
In the name of the vulnerable and broken king of the Jews.