I don’t know about you, but I enjoy talking, especially about things I either really like, or things I really DISLIKE. If you get me going about some of my big likes, bicycling, British politics, random historical minutia, and ministry it’s hard to get me to stop (my wife has learned to ever so subtly excuse herself from the room). Unfortunately, I can go on and on about things I dislike. Sometimes that’s not a bad thing, because I’m talking about things I’d love to see eradicated from the world: poverty, people who don’t know Jesus, and the self-centeredness of our culture. Sadly, I can also spend WAY too much time whining, holding a self-pity party, and complaining about others. The problem with all of this incessant talking is this: it seldom accomplishes anything! Yet, most of us spend hours and hours complaining about all of the problems in our life and in our world, and far less on doing something about it.
If we took action as much even half as often as we talk and complain, we would likely be on the precipice of eradicating many of this world’s problems. If you’ve never read the first chapter of the Book of Haggai I’d really encourage you to do so. In the first chapter God uses the prophet Haggai to urge the people to stop talking and start doing. Haggai served God 18 years after the people of Israel had returned from exile in Babylon. Right after their return they started rebuilding God’s Temple, seeing reconstructing God’s home in the center of their community as a vital task. Soo, however, the work was halted. Instead of building the temple they spent their time, money, and energy building luxurious houses for themselves and focusing on their own wants and desires. They talked about building the Temple, but they never actually did the work. They’d complain about the conditions things were in, but again they never did anything about it. Haggai stood before the people and simply said this: go up into the woods, cut down trees for lumber, and DO THE WORK! Stop yapping about it, and start doing it!
We all need to do this more in our lives. We see problems in our homes, community, and world, and spend a lot of time talking (read: complaining!) about them. What would happen if, instead of our constant talking, we actually took action? What if we started sharing the gospel with the unreached, gave to the poor and needy, volunteered in the ministry of our church, and met needs we saw with love? I’m here to tell you THAT would make much more of an impact than our words. What will you do today to be a blessing to God and others in a world with such big needs?