Improve The System, Not Complain!

Improve The System, Not Complain!

Pastor Vincent - 30 October 2021

Weekend Devotion: Improve The System, Not Complain!

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Now, we live in a world of systems. We have the education system, meritocratic system, elitist system, or even in a church, we’ve some sort of system in it. Yes, even if the church is led by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God is not a disorderly spirit. It does lead the church with certain systems. For instance, we put people in cell group to nurture them. Or we put new believers in discipleship classes to disciple them. And the administrative work in the church has to be organized through some sort of system. As a general rule, we cannot be making decisions or doing things randomly.

 

But here comes the problem, no system is perfect and could cater to every individual’s needs. People does fall through the cracks. And when that happens, we hear complaints and witness displeasures. It’s a common phenomenon in the world around us.  

 

For instance, we had our Primary School National Exams recently. Almost without fail, after almost every math paper, we hear parents complain about how hard the paper is. Some parents who hope their children could be high achievers were upset when they saw their children being defeated after the paper. And thereafter, you have many people questioning whether our system is too elitist? After a while, you hear another group of people asked: “Why is it that our system only seek excellence in math and science, but neglects sports and performing arts?” So when people don’t fit the system, or find themselves being penalized by the system, they start complaining.

 

It’s a common sight we see everywhere.

 

And with the Covid situation now, government has to come up with one system after another, and usually to the inconvenience of everyone. Like for instance, we can only allow to gathering groups of 2 now. Many testing needs to be done. And sometimes the social distance rules imposed on organizations seems to be ridiculous. So people just go through motion. But what to do? Because certain regulations don’t make sense. And that is the reason why some families question why is it they cannot dine out in a group of 4 or 5 pax as a family. To add to their displeasure, the governments recently allow all participants attending the Bloomberg New Economy forum to dine in groups of 5, so as to facilitate business networking. Of course the government would have their own explanation. But some would ask: “How about companies or how about some religious organizations that have special circumstances? What gives the economy priority over everything?” Now, we know there’ll be no end if we bring the argument further. But that goes to show two things.

 

First, no human system is perfect. Humans are volatile, our needs are changing. And no system can fit our changing nature and needs. So systems in this world are meant to change. Why? Because by nature of the fact that human beings change. We are mutable. Our needs and perspectives differ when circumstances change.

 

Second, Man can never be satisfied with a system. Only God can satisfy Man. Systems only make things convenient. With a clear objective in mind, it merely makes execution easy. For instance, if we want to segregate and train highly intelligent people to lead the country in future, it is important to identify these people when they’re young. So without a Primary School National Exams, it’s impossible to identity them. Now, we may think otherwise, never mind. But the sad truth with most people is, if they fit the system, they are happy. If they don’t, they wallow in misery. Yet despite that, people still look to the system than to God, which reflects our foolishness. 

 

But today, what my devotion is going to address is: “How should we Christians react when we’re put under a system that runs contrary to our needs? If a system inconveniences us, how should our attitude be? Maybe I should first draw from a few verses.

 

(Php 2:14-15): Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe…”  

 

Now, the verse says it very clearly. Far be it should a Christian be reduced to complaining and arguing like what the world does. We should not be complaining because of inconvenience or when things don’t work well for us. If we don’t make it in this system, we should not be complaining or blaming everyone.

 

Why?

 

Because it is God who leads us to this system.

 

This system may not work for us now, but it doesn’t mean it will not work for us forever. Some people just hate the system and take the easy way out by migrating, which I think is a form of escapism. I mean, how can we expect a human system to work well for us all the time right?

 

Sometime back, a brother who is a doctor complained to me about the system of this country that cause doctors to work like a dog. And he tries to find fault with the whole system of government in almost everything. But I try to make him understand that it is because of the system of government that he could be a doctor by just being more studious and academic, while many other people with other attributes yet not academically inclined don’t make the cut. So there’s nothing to complain about. No system favors us all the time.

 

But having said that, let’s think about the system of the church. Especially in times of pandemic like this. There are a lot of rules and regulations being imposed upon all large scale or religious gathering. Most of them are for our safety but some of them could be overbearing. And with that, it makes it hard for the church to function or to allow believers to gather freely.

 

Now, what should we do in such a case?

 

(1 Peter 4:10) has given us good advice. Peter says:

 

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms”. 

 

Now, I believe first, when there’re overbearing demands by a system, we should get everyone to activate their gifts to serve God’s people, and get the church running. Never should we give in to the challenges of the system by throwing in the towel.

 

Next, we must seek to improve the system of things. The church must know how to offer feedback to the authorities and not follow the system blindly. The church has people who are educated, who are good thinkers, and the church must garner the help of these people to think through processes to make things work better for the church. And if need be, the church must offer sound and sensible feedback to the government to let them know about our unique situation. Being submissive to the authorities doesn’t mean not offering alternative feedbacks and solutions. I am surprised business entities and associations know how to offer feedbacks and make strong demands to the authorities for their businesses to survive, while the church remains silent. And most churches just remain close because of the overbearing requirements of the system.

 

Now, Peter says we must know how to use our gifts to serve others, and be good stewards. And the church must contribute wisely to help fine-tune the system. Within itself, the church must continually seek to improve the system of its running. It must not continue to remain stagnant. It must progress and develop new workable and beneficial system in replace of old and obsolete ones. In doing so, we seek the glory of God and the benefit of God’s people. So if you’re a minister, don’t complain, don’t be lazy, but seek help from the Holy Spirit to keep improving every system in the church.

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Pastor Vincent Choo
choochisan@gmail.com

Vincent is the Senior Pastor of The Life Church and Missions (Singapore) and is an ardent missionary to the Chinese World. He currently lives in Singapore with his wife, Qiufen, and has three kids, Mary, David, and Caleb.

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