Have you ever heard someone say “the problem is that he/she/it isn’t…………”
We seem to be hearing it a lot these days. It is the ability to express ‘what it isn’t’. It is easier to express how or why things should be different. Where the lack is. Where expectations or standards are not met. What we are not happy with and how it’s not working for “me”.
It is something Anna & I recognise, and talk about how to not fall into that trap. We don’t always manage it but we are trying.
Sometimes expressing the “what isn’t” can be a positive thing – striving for change, dreaming of a better tomorrow, looking at how people, systems, structures or institutions can change for the better.
The problem is that it can also just be critique.
It is much easier when talking about others, about circumstances, about life, about institutions, about ourselves, to give a list of critique.
There is a way to identify if it is critique or a genuine heart for change. You can tell by asking the question “well what could it be? And how could you help bring about that change?”
If it’s just critique – people can’t tell you. They have a list of where it falls short but not a picture of what it could be.
We’ve seen this with church. People so ready to say what it isn’t but not sure what they want it to be.
We’ve seen it with people’s expectations of relationships, community, even us, so ready to say what is isn’t or where it’s lacking but not able to say what they want it to be and now living towards making it a reality.
So when we’re about to give some feedback, critique, advice – we need to stop and check our heart.
Is it said in love or judgement?
Am I pulling someone or something down? What would it look like to build them up?
If you can see ‘what it isn’t’ – what could it look like if ‘it was’?
And now could you be the change you desire to see in the world (paraphrase of Gandhi)?
Posted by Rich