You hang around the church much; you hear a lot of complaining or critiquing. These do not come from malcontents. Usually, they come from well-meaning people. It is not wonder that this phenomenon is common. We Americans are "fix it" people more than we are "plan ahead" people. We are always fixin' to get around to important preventative things but we attack with vigor things which are broke or seem broke or seem to need improving.
Jesus tells a story about weeds. Basically, he says this. "You can pull weeds all you want but you might take up some good plants as well. Concentrate on nurturing the plants. Let their growth crowd out the weeds." Another way of say this is this. "If you concentrate on the bad stuff, the devil wins. He sets your agenda. What the devil hates is for you to stick with the good. He loses."
The more we point out what's wrong (and sometimes it is and sometimes we must do this,) the more we are taken away from immersing ourselves in goodness. Jesus is found in the good. Complaining and critiquing can be on a slippery slope to self-righteousness. Darkness only needs a smidgen of light to no longer be dark.
What if I pursued the good in the face of an avalanche of evil? Turned the other cheek, as Jesus puts it. What if, today, I devoted my energy to being alight and refusing to engage darkness in its own turf? What if, for goodness' sake, I eschewed complaining and critiquing and set my mouth on a course of edifying every inch of my day? That would be revolutionary. Then again, so was Jesus.
Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
"The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?'
" 'An enemy did this,' he replied.
"The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?'
" 'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.' " Matthew 13:24-30 (NIV)