Man in the Arena

Recently I heard a man stand up during a sermon and read a speech from Theodore Roosevelt. It was initially called “Citizenship in a Republic” but has become known as “The Man in the Arena” speech. It was delivered in Paris on April 23, 1910.

The preacher I heard read these words did it slowly and methodically. He read it to people who are Church leaders with an emphasis on their work in the world as citizens of the kingdom of God.

So to you, servant of God, I share these words for you serving in the arena.

“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 knows victory nor defeat.”


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