“Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.” (Colossians 3:22–25)
I understand for many of us watching a generation protesting over and over again, and not producing anything worthwhile but a fresh sound bite and new images for our 24hr news cycle, can be disheartening. Many are frustrated and do want change, I get it. Yet if they truly desire change in their culture they have backed themselves into a difficult predicament. They have an abundance of rhetoric without an actionable direction of effort. Solomon wrote, “In all labor there is profit, but idle chatter leads only to poverty.” (Proverbs 14:23)
Words without actions are empty. Words without the right kind of actions exist in the same shapeless void. We can scream and yell about what we want, like a toddler in a Kmart, all day, every day, and still have nothing except a sore throat to show for our lack of effort. We need to invest focused exertion to fulfill the expectation of our goals. Change requires the daily investment of action. We may not like it, but we need to put in some willfully spent energies in a productive direction with our continual whining. Paul wrote, “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.” (Philippians 2:14–16)
Maybe it’s time we stop talking about what we want to see, have, or do and start leading with a Godly example to get things done for the Kingdom of God. Let each of us set the standard of what it looks like to roll up our sleeves and get the job done, because spending today complaining about yesterday will not make tomorrow any better. Keep your eyes on Jesus and your hand on the plow and see what God will do in and through your life. Imagine what could happen if we all spent our time and energy building up others and our communities rather than tearing them down. The world we live in could be a very different place, right?