Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity…What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. – Ecclesiastes 1:2, 9 (ESV)
Padded pews and air conditioning have made us soft — as though “experiencing church” to match our individual preferences is our birthright. For more context on this post, read the entire book of Ecclesiastes. Then complain to me about something you don’t like at your church.
I am fresh off of a nine-day mission trip to Egypt, and I was reminded of the incomparable luxury we enjoy as we come to church every week – as well as the freedom we have to worship openly.
The Christians I met in Egypt are resilient, focused, and tough. As I observed the danger they risk just to meet together, I couldn’t help but think of how ridiculous we Americans sound sometimes: we have nothing, and I mean NOTHING to complain about. Not temperature, nor music, sound, sermon length, dress, programs, activities for youth, nor recreation… NOTHING.
Constructive criticism is fine, as long as you are genuinely committed to be a healthy part of the constructing. But if you’re just mad because you don’t like one of the worship songs or the color of the paint on the mailbox outside, keep it to yourself, please.
Complaining is the easy road. I am resolved never to complain about anything at church ever again, and if you belong to a church, you should do the same. Better yet: sign up for a mission trip to the third or developing world, and you’ll easily see my point. Be thankful you’re not being monitored by the police or fire-bombed by radicals, or persecuted by your neighbors.