Instead of complaining…
…Do something edifying.
Doing something edifying means to do something that builds people up. I’ve seen far too many people who engage in politics and religion go down the complaining road. It’s a road that only leads to fear, anger, division, and projection. It’s not a good road to go down.
Look, I get that things go on that we all don’t like. And we need to recognize this. But we can’t get stuck there. When we get stuck in complaints, we put our energy towards just trying to stop something we don’t like or agree with. But there is more. Do something edifying.
There’s so much opportunities to do something edifying. What are you waiting for? Don’t like something, then do something that will build up people, build up the church, build your community up, build up the body politic, etc.
Edification doesn’t happen all that often because it’s just plain easier to complain. There is little responsibility with complaining. But there’s a whole lot of responsibility with edification. There’s a great deal of effort and energy invested in edification. Complaining is handing over responsibility to someone else to do the hard work while we reap the rewards. But that’s not what we are called too. We are called to pick up our cross and do the hard work of edifying. That’s what discipleship is about – following Jesus and living into faith.
So what are you complaining about?
What can you do that will build up people? A community? Your church? Your school district? Your municipality? Your state? Your country?
Go and do it. And realize that as soon as you start, there will be people who complain about what you are doing. Let them. Let them complain loud and clear. Listen and be respectful, regardless of whether they deserve it – because you will be edifying the complainers. Forget about what people deserve – wrap yourself in grace and mercy and practice them with others. And get to work building up people. Building up the organizations and institutions you are a part of. Invest yourself in building people up. It is never a bad investment. I pays off. It improves lives. And guess what, when we build up people and free them from whatever is holding them captive, they want to be around us and they want to participate and be a part of it.
Complainers draw in other complainers – but they don’t build up people or organizations. And most people don’t want to be around the complainers.
Edification is life giving and orients us towards thriving. I believe most people would much rather prefer that over being surrounded by complainers.
So regardless of the complaint or the complainers, go and edify people. Build them up. Build up your church. Build up the body politic. You won’t regret it. It won’t be easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is. That’s the motivation to work harder though. Because what you are doing is worthwhile – it has such a positive impact on people’s lives. And that’s what matters. That’s what discipleship is about. That’s what faith is for. Go and do it. Edify!