Perception is a funny thing. The reality can be one thing and the faith within us pushes us forward in hope of what will come.
For the past little while I've been doing a lot of soul searching on the idea of what we say about the church. By the church I mean the body of Christ collectively, from the church all over the world right down to the church that you attend every Sunday morning. People are free on their facebook statuses and twitter accounts and blogs and the long list of social media outlets to allow our frustrations to vent. An outlet to let the steam off is good, prayer is a good outlet for that. Typing up a tirade and posting it publicly is not necessarily the best way. Every body seems to think that because we have the freedom to do so that we should exercise that freedom. Gossip and backbiting are not just spoken sins...
Another thing is that we think in mentioning this stuff we are helping the situation. Thought process here: I see (perceive) a problem, I don't like it, I tell somebody about it (not necessarily the right person), problem remains.
As a part of the Body of Christ, you are in fact the body and when you talk bad about it, you are in effect talking badly about yourself. You cannot distance yourself from the problem. Like it or not you are a part of the team and therefore part of the problem. That's a perception adjustment!
I know that its difficult to push on when it feels like you are the only one. That is an age old misconception. We can look around and see that we are doing our best but that person over there sure could be doing a better job. God calls people together to triumph but it starts with each one individually. Instead of tearing down, seek to build up with your words. Collectively, we can get so much done when each person has their hearts in line to complete the task. Nehemiah and the people rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem come to mind. Go back and read the book of Nehemiah and take notice of the troubles that came their way but also make note of the work of each family to bring about the desired result of rebuilding the wall.
Recently I came across the story behind the Keep Calm posters that seemed to be everywhere for awhile. Pretty cheesy in my opinion until I learned the purpose behind them. They were actually part of a three part series printed in England during WW2 and plastered on walls all over the British Isles to keep the morale of the people up. The message is simple and straightforward and speaks to our situation today as well. My very favorite one is the second poster.
The message reminds us of the individual responsibility we all have to remain brave, joyful, and determined even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Life isn't a picnic, but no matter the circumstances you can find encouraging words for others instead of constantly tearing down the situation.
Nehemiah 2:17 Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me. They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.