We tend to associate constructive with the positive. Thus, when someone offers us constructive criticism, we assume that the person is offering something helpful and encouraging instead of something unhelpful and discouraging.
When someone suggests that we be, do, or think constructively, we generally believe people are nudging us in the positive direction of being, doing, and thinking that is more useful, productive, effective, and beneficial.
As with all words, the real meaning of constructive depends heavily on the alignment and motivation of those who use it.
What then are those aligned against God and Creation really saying when they offer constructive criticism or ask us to be more constructive?
What help are they extending? Moreover, what are they encouraging us to be, do, or think?
Constructive extends far beyond general English and into law and legal writing, where its definition differs vastly from conventional usage. In law, constructive refers to “something legally declared, even if not technically true in a given case”, which translates into “judges and lawmakers making things constructively true so that the intent of the law cannot be easily thwarted by a loophole or a lack of personal responsibility.”
Again, making something constructively true in law relies heavily on discerning motivation or lack thereof. It is, in essence, a legal fiction.
For example, the law can determine that a landlord has “constructively evicted” a tenant if the landlord failed to provide the living conditions required to allow a reasonable tenant to stay on the premises, like turning off the heat, power, or water or neglecting sanitary minimums. Living conditions deteriorate so much that the tenant finally leaves. In this case, the landlord did not hand the tenant an actual eviction notice, but the landlord’s actions are tantamount to an unwritten, undeclared eviction notice that resulted in the tenant actually leaving the premises.
I eschew law-thinking and legal mindsets, but from a spiritual perspective, I think it is crucial to treat constructively any communication that asks us to be more constructive, that is, discern the spiritual intention or aspect, even if the spiritual intention or aspect is not technically obvious or “true” in a given case, so that spiritual matters cannot be easily thwarted by a loophole or a lack of personal responsibility.
An off-the-cuff example is being more constructive about implementing a D.I.E. agenda at a workplace. Or thinking more constructively about the climate crisis. Or receiving advice or criticism suggesting you or some aspect of you become more System-aligned.
Those who ask us to be more constructive are usually motivated by the destructive.