October 4 marks the birthday of the 19th president of the United States, so today I’m sharing a free printable Rutherford Hayes Coloring Page. It joins our growing collection of Presidential Quote Printables.
The majority of Hayes’ quotes I was able to locate online seemed unremarkable, and a couple few I fundamentally disagreed with. But I found this quote intriguing:
“Unjust attacks on public men do them more good than unmerited praise.”
A nice turn of phrase, but is it true? Is it Biblical?
Warnings against Unmerited Praise
Unmerited praise is more commonly known as flattery. And the book of Proverbs has much to say about this topic (none of it good):
- “A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin.” – Proverbs 26:28
- “A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet.” – Proverbs 29:5
- “A hypocrite hides hate behind flattering words.” – Proverbs 26:24
- “He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips.” – Proverbs 20:19
- “One who rebukes a person will later find more favor than one who flatters with his tongue.” – Proverbs 28:23
Sure, a wise man prefers honest criticism to empty praise. But what if the criticism is dishonest, delusional, or disparaging? What if an attack is unwarranted or unnecessarily vicious? Is there any possible good that can come from being falsely accused or misrepresented?
How to Respond to Unjust Attacks
Here again, the Bible offers encouragement to those who find themselves under fire for doing what is right:
- “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
- “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you…” – Matthew 5:44
- “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven…” – Matthew 5:11-12
- “Hear me, you who know what is right, you people who have taken my instruction to heart: Do not fear the reproach of mere mortals or be terrified by their insults.” – Isaiah 51:7
- “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” – Romans 12:14
- “So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.” – 1 Peter 4:9
- “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” – 1 Peter 3:9
- “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” – James 1:2-4
Of course, Christ provides a beautiful example of maintaining peace in the face of adversity. And His death offers definitive proof that our enemy’s evil attacks can be used by God for our good and His glory.
- “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” – Hebrews 12:2-3
- “When they heaped abuse on Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats, but entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.” – 1 Peter 2:23
- “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth.” – Isaiah 53:7
- “But when the leading priests and the elders made their accusations against him, Jesus remained silent.” – Matthew 27:12
More American Heritage Printables
Want more fun printables for folks who love America and long for it to be great again? You can browse through all of our past patriotic posts by following this link: American Heritage Printables. And for more great quotes from our past commanders-in-chief, check out this President’s Day post.
Or maybe you’d prefer a bound volume. If so, check out my devotional journals. The one in the center of the lineup below, God Bless America, was made just for patriotic citizens like you.
Packed with inspiring thoughts from our founding fathers and other great Americans, this journal will inspire you to think deeply about what it means to be a citizen of this great country. What is our responsibility to the rest of the world? How do we ensure the guiding principles on which our nation was established are never forgotten? Consider how you feel about these matters and use the space provided to write down your thoughts.
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