The Word on Complaints
When I was a teenager (See: Selfish brat), our family had a boat. Now this boat, while fun, was a big sore spot in my parents lives as it was rarely used and caused a lot of tension due to the monthly payments that were eating into my parents budget.
One night, I sat down to dinner that my mother had lovingly put together, like she did on most nights for us (she really was and is a good cook), however, this particular meal did not meet up with “His Highness’ lofty standards” (See: Teenage Neil, unappreciative, snooty food critic). So I, to my everlasting regret, decided to voice my opinion.
Neil: “This meal sucks”.
Dad (Striving to be calm with his ignorant teenage offspring): “Just eat it”
Neil: “I don’t see why we have to have crummy food because of YOUR boat”
Dad (Completely justified anger): …”How dare you.”
…ok maybe those weren’t his EXACT words, but you get the picture…
Thinking about this incident this morning, it serves as a good example to us as to how God perceives our complaining. He has put together this masterpiece of a universe, and has told us in no uncertain terms that He will work EVERYTHING for good for those who love him (Romans 8:28). If we really believe that everything happening in our lives is for our benefit, why would we complain about ANYTHING? Especially in America where we have it better than pretty much anyone else on the planet, we have no reason to complain. However, even if were were poor, starving people in Africa, complaints will only serve to anger God, and undermine our faith.
Don’t get me wrong, it is OK to identify in our lives areas where we need something like food, clothing and shelter (See: The basics), but whining about our circumstances in a spirit of discontent does not please God.
How often do you find yourself complaining about what are ultimately “Trivial” things? I for one know that I complain a LOT about grading papers. I definitely feel convicted about this since I am blessed to even have a job since so many people are currently out of work and would rejoice at having to grade papers.
I am going to challenge myself to not complain about anything for the next month and see how things go.