Have you ever had one of those days? You know, one of those days where you wake up on the wrong side of the bed? I’m not really sure what that means except that the side you normally sleep on is not the side where you woke up!
At any rate, I know that I have had times in my days where I tend to just complain. I complain about something I’ve done. I complain about something someone else has done. I complain about something that someone hasn’t done. I complain about something I haven’t done. I complain, complain, complain. Quite frankly, it’s in my nature to complain.
As a Pastor I have to admit, I don’t like admitting my sin! In reality, I’m not so sure that any of us like to admit when we sin. James 5:16 says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” I really want my prayer life to be effective so it means confessing my sins!
What about you? Do you find yourself complaining about different things? Perhaps something in your home isn’t right or something with your work. What about something at church that you don’t think is right? Ever complain? I do. But I’m discovering that my complaining–and others who complain–isn’t something that we should just allow to slide by. We need to be mindful of our complaints. After all, when we are dissatisfied wtih something, the truth of the matter is that we have feelings of emptiness and unfulfillment, at either a physical or spiritual level. This is why we complain, and it is sinful to be unfulfilled when we have everything in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!
But the Bible tells us as believers that we are supposed to think differently–that we are supposed to find our fulfillment in Jesus Christ. Read how the Bible speaks of how we should then live without complaint:
- A spirit of complaining is not to be part of a Christian’s walk. Philippians 2:14-16 – 14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I wil have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. James 5:9 – Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.
- Let your outlook and manner be that of patient acceptance. Ecclesiastes 7:8, 9 – 8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning; patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit. 9 Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, for anger resides in the bosom of fools. Romans 15:7 – Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.
- Christ’s peace and contentment are vital ingredients for a positive spirit. John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. Colossians 3:12, 13 – So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
These are but a few verses for us to consider when it comes to our complaining. I know that it is convicting for me to read these things when I am naturally a complainer when I don’t see my preferences being met or when I allow myself to be irritated with something or someone. As my son once said after explaining to him that I’m a germaphobe and he has germs, “Dad, you’ve got issues!” Yes, I do have issues. But in the scheme of life, we all have issues and the answers to these issues are found in the Scriptures.
So, what am I complaining about today? I had to repent on my drive over to my office this morning because traffic is fierce and hectic coming from Carrollton where I live. I had to repent about the post office where I picked up a package because it was not delivered the way they said it would be.
What I’m saying to you is this: we all have complaints but in the grand scheme of life, are they really worth it? Are they worth it if it breaks our fellowship with the Lord because we’re not living according to His Word and by His Holy Spirit? This is what’s on my mind this morning. I guess it’s because I have confessed my sin of complaining this morning and have repented of my thoughts toward traffic and the lady behind the counter at the post office not delivering my mail as I thought it was supposed to be.
One thing for sure, I’m glad that God promises to forgive in 1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.