My father-in-law gave me a vintage sledgehammer. It’s super heavy. It’s got an old hickory handle that’s been treated with boiled linseed oil. It feels perfect. It can do some serious damage. Fast. When I used it to knock down an old shed in my back yard, I felt powerful.

My Church History professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, John D. Hannah, said that it’s actually not that hard to deconstruct things–they’ll even award PhDs for taking things apart. Anyone who can wield a sledge hammer–or a pen–can knock something down and sound smart doing it.

Putting something better in its place–that takes genius. Be more impressed with construction than demolition. Even though it takes longer, is often tedious, and is less fun to watch than a wrecking ball or an implosion.

Deconstruction has its place. We should always be reforming.

But I’m no longer impressed with a smart-sounding scoffer who excels at tearing things apart, but isn’t willing (or able) to do the hard, creative work of actually building something beautiful, true, and good.

I was that guy for far too long.