It's amazing how often we complain throughout the day. If you pay attention to other people talking too, you here it all the time. The weather, their marriage, their kids, their homes, traffic, their church, sickness, money, politics, school, work, their weight, and the list goes on. It's kind of sad too when it comes from Christians when the Bible is so clear on giving thanks in all things, not complaining, finding our joy and strength in Jesus, and putting on "the new man" as we take on the identity of Jesus to a fallen and dying world. It's especially a bummer when it's those in ministry who can complain the most. I have been guilty of this so many times, it's silly. It's easy to not really notice when you are doing it but then when you see and hear it in someone else it is a pretty ugly characteristic!
Ministry is a funny thing too because so many people want to be in ministry but only if it's the ministry of their own choosing- not the Lord's choosing. Mom's can despise at times the little years because they want to be doing something "BIG" for God like speaking to a crowd or on the mission field or singing on a stage. Men can despise serving behind the scenes or cleaning the church or the "lesser" things involved in ministry because they really want to be the Preacher or the Worship Leader or the man with the mic. People leave churches all the time because they aren't able to do the ministry that they want or feel that they deserve. That's when it's not really about the ministry but about their own pride and lack of true servant hood. Jesus washed feet, spent time with the broken, ate with the forgotten, healed the sick and outcasts, touched the untouchables, and loved those that nobody else would love. Sadly, so many end up doing the ministry hop until someone takes them instead of allowing the Lord to place them in ministry.
Whenever we complain it's not just complaining against the situation, but it's pointing the finger at God and saying that whatever He is doing or not doing is not good enough for us. If He allows what happens or doesn't happen in our lives then when we gripe about something, we see ourselves as more deserving than the Lord does. We forget the grace and goodness of the Lord and demand better.
These verses are on my fridge to remind me of what to be doing, because for some reason I can too easily forget!
"Do ALL things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life..." -Phil. 2:14-15
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in EVERYTHING give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." - 1 Thess. 5:16-18
I'm as guilty as anyone else... although I may not logically look at my life and feel like I'm confronting God Himself with my lack of contentment, but in my heart and in my attitude I'm doing exactly that! So, I'm committing to going "complain free" for a week and to "hold fast to the Word of life". I know I'm going to mess up but I hope that by having these verses around me, I'll be more mindful of my attitude before the Lord and hope to have a more Christ-like mind and heart... I'll let you know how it goes!