In any renovation project there are phases. Deconstruction first, followed by construction. Removal and tearing down, then addition and building up.
The life of the disciple, and the life of the blessed community of faith, also has these same movements. Critical evaluation and repentance are followed by growth and renewal. An honest look, and full ownership, of our shortcomings, can be followed by fresh development and new virtues.
This season we are studying the Old Testament prophets. God called them to the necessary and difficult task of pointing out the things in Israel’s life that needed to be removed, torn down, and deconstructed. In poetry and prose they identified and called out injustices and hypocrisy and unfaithfulness—but always with the purpose of making possible righteousness, authenticity, and true faithfulness.
It takes courage to look at our individual and corporate areas of struggle and rebellion. But every strong enterprise, whether religious, economic, political, or educational, must do evaluation honestly and well, to avoid stagnation and decline and to achieve potential.