I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I don’t always immediately do things without complaining.
In fact, it’s my nature to first be negative, and my negativity is usually followed with complaints.
It occurred to me as I read 1 Peter this morning how easy it is to miss out on the chance to share Jesus when I grumble.
My husband works too much.
My kids are ungrateful.
This service is terrible.
Why can’t I be skinny and eat the Oreos? (Ok maybe this one isn’t as much a complaint as it is a prayer).
Some complaints are more serious than others, but here’s a truth that applies to them all.
Complaining isn’t a harmless sport; it’s serious sin.
Paul wrote, “Do all things without murmurings and disputings …” Phil. 2:14. Yes, the Bible is full of admonishment where complaining is concerned.
Complaining had the Israelites (you know, Gods chosen ones, the ones He set free from years of SLAVERY) wandering for 40 years.
When I read how Moses responded to all that disputing, my own conviction set in.
“You are not grumbling against us, but against the LORD.” Exodus 16:8).
My complaints aren’t against my life, my husband, my kids, or even what Oreos do to my shape.
My complaints are against God himself.
That gives me an entirely different perspective when it comes to complaining.
Complaining out loud gives God a bad report (news flash, it doesn’t make you look good, either). How can we sanctify our hearts and tell people about the hope that’s in us if all we do is grumble and complain?
God is so good, but my life is so bad.
God is so good, but my husband is so bad.
God is so good, but my kids are so bad.
You get where I’m going with this? Blessing and cursing cannot come from the same mouth. It’s like thinking fresh drinking water comes from a contaminated toilet.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Philippians 4:6).
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).
Though Paul and Peter specify anxiety here, the same principle applies to complaints. Like anxiety, their erosion is too great and their weight too heavy; I must always share them with God.
Dwell on the positives. Constantly repeating your life’s flaws and the shortcomings in people you sojourn with it isn’t a healthy pastime.
It might even be the reason you’re missing out on the good life.
Better yet, you might be missing out on the chance to share Jesus with someone, which is the better life.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
How challenging is it for you to see the good in your life? Join me in sanctifying our hearts so that we can share the hope that is in us – Jesus!
When I put my mind to it, much about my life, even when I meet up with challenges or difficult people, is worth celebrating . The more I think on what’s praiseworthy about others, the less I notice their flaws.
Am I completely cured of chronic complaining about my life?
But I’m not the same as I was before Jesus, either. Lord willing, He will keep making that mess of a girl into His masterpiece.