Complain. Doesn't it feel like no
matter how hard you try, there is always something to complain about? People who annoy us. Things that just aren't going our way. The weather. The Government. Our job that we begged God for not too long ago. Complaints are constantly on our lips, because we life is difficult; there's not other way to frame that.
This week, we have been looking into what God says about about our complaints an how we can actually be in sin when we complain. This is an extremely difficult topic because it can affect us all and it is hard to get complaints off our lips... I mean, life can be really really difficult and just not fair! When we feel like we are failing to get anywhere or when our situations get worse, it can feel good to just get it off our chests! I know I find myself complaining so much more than I would even like to admit and this is something that God has placed on my heart to work on. So today, let's talk about complaining, why we do it and what God says about it.
Complaining is a natural thing to do. Someone walks up to you and asks you how you are and you just can't wait to tell them about your back pain or the way you have such a headache from your job. We can find reason to complain about virtually everything in our lives, even the things we really like, and no one is immune from this disease of the mouth and mind.
I know I often find myself complaining about how much work I have or how tired I am; I complain about my job which I really truly enjoy; I complain about people I like because they have annoyed me. Complain, complain, complain. Why do I complain? Because it feels really good to to say my annoyances out loud. It feels good to take the stress and annoyance and tiredness that I am feeling and just tell the world that I am stressed or annoyed or tired. We can get addicted to that feeling of complaining, so much so, that we complain constantly.
Does complaining really hurt anyone? It's simply us expressing ourselves, right? It can't be that bad!This is how we think, and sure, there can be some validity in this because we aren't hurting anyone physically at least. But, complaining is inherently negative in nature (we never complain to say good things. That would be praise), so complaining can't be all that good either. Let's look at the verses we shared through Instagram and Facebook this week to find out more about what the Bible says about complaining.
Verses of the Week:
"And don’t complain as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death." – 1 Corinthians 10:10 (NLT)
"I cry out to the Lord; I plead for the Lord’s mercy. I pour out my complaints before him
and tell him all my troubles." – Psalm 142:1-2 (NLT)
"Do everything without complaining and arguing..." – Philippians 2:14 (NLT)
"These people are grumblers and complainers, living only to satisfy their desires. They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want." – Jude 1:16 (NLT)
When we complain we are actually sinning against God. How? Well, just like our verse in 1 Corinthians that references the Israelites in the wilderness, when we complain, we are forgetting God's sovereignty and what He has done for us in the past. We are saying that we do not believe God and who He is. When we complain, we are also not going to God with our troubles and instead are seeking justification and help from those who cannot change our situations. The Bible says to go to God with our complaints because He hears us and cares for us. Finally, it is a sin to complain because when we complain it is simple because we want our own way. Essentially, we are telling God that we think our ideas and timelines for our lives are better than what has set out for us. We are losing ourselves in our own desires and blaming God (all while in our complaining, belittled His sovereignty) for not giving us what we want.
So how do we do to stop complaining? Well, that's the question, one that many of us who seek to honor God still struggle with. The answer lies in our verse from Philippians 2:14. We must be intentional in our pursuit of a non complaining life. This doesn't make life easier or less annoying. It doesn't make our pursuits breakthrough any faster. Life is long, difficult, and at times (if we are telling the truth and shaming the Devil) extremely annoying. This is when we must dig down deep to stop the complaining in our hearts and on our lips. This will not be easy, and we will fail many many times before we get it right. God's not worried about our failure, it's the pursuit of holiness that matters to Him.