Have you ever had one of those experiences when you were focusing on one thing and GOD tells you, “Hey! Deal with this over here”? Yeah? Me, too.
I had a lot to complain about…or thought I did. I was dissatisfied about some things in my life (I could make you a list). So I opened my Bible for my morning devotional and asked God for a sign, a word from His Word telling me what I wanted to hear. Basically I was looking for permission to jump ship and make some changes in the things with which I was dissatisfied. I know better. I know those who are impulsive and do what they want, when they want, with no thought of the consequences are either children or fools. They are then disciplined accordingly. Adults, or mature people, act with wisdom and restrain themselves from stupid impulses (because they have been children and learned from their discipline). But hey! If God tells you to do something that otherwise appears impulsive, He can pull a miracle out of it, right? For instance, stepping out of a boat onto the choppy waves of a stormy sea seems a bit unwise. But focus on Jesus and you can walk on water…at least that was Peter’s experience…for a minute…until he lost focus. My point is, when God tells you it’s time for action, GO! With GOD! Stay focused, but mooove on! I was REALLY wanting one of those messages because I was tired and frustrated and, I thought, so ready. So I prayed…and then opened my devotional readings….and read them…. and…
Well, they did say something about something else that didn’t apply to what I wanted to hear…I don’t remember what… But it wasn’t, “Now is the time! Today is the day! Quit this, start that! GO! With GOD!” Bummer…
So I closed my Bible and readings and went on about my day…with attitude. I may have to be a grown up, but I don’t have to like it, right?
Looking back, I’m embarrassed. Was that me? Complaining about just about everything? Yuck! I come across people like that on a daily basis…and then try to avoid them, if possible, or at least steer the conversation in a positive direction. They are experiencing dissatisfaction. I get it. They should do what they can to change what they can and SHUT UP already. But oh my gosh! I AM ONE OF THEM! Yeesh! People are going to hate to see me coming. They won’t want to ask me how I’m doing because they don’t want to hear my moaning and groaning, even if it is cloaked in sarcasm and bitter humor. It’s not funny, it’s pitiful. I don’t even want to hear it out of my own mouth!
Enter my support system. Gosh, I love my support system! They let me complain. Sometimes they encourage it. At the very least they commiserate with me and tell me what a gem I am for putting up with what I put up with…as if everyone else on the planet doesn’t have frustrations and something to complain about. I realized that coming home and complaining to the people who love me could be depressing to them. Who wants someone to walk in the door with a sour attitude? The attitude I bring into my home flavors the atmosphere of my home. Wow! I just sat and pondered that for a minute. There’s my challenge for today.
So that evening I was already getting a check in my spirit about my attitude. Then the next morning in my devotional I open to this (from YouVersion, New Day New You reading plan by Joyce Meyer ministries):
Complain and Remain, Praise and Be Raised
Complaining is a sin! It is a corrupt form of conversation that causes many people a great deal of problems in their lives. It also opens many doors for the enemy. Words are containers of power. Complaining, grumbling words carry destructive power. They destroy the joy of the one doing the complaining and can also affect other people who have to listen to them.
According to Psalm 22:3, God dwells in the praises of His people. A wonderful meditation on that verse can be found here. I got to thinking, if we can feel the presence of God’s Spirit when we praise Him, what spirit are we feeling when we are complaining? Not a good one, let me tell ya!
So the challenge for today is to praise God and not complain. If our attitudes influence our atmospheres, let’s bring the joy…the peace…the grace…and the love. Yes, there are situations that need to change and pointless tasks that need to be done. But our first responsibility is to glorify God. Let’s see what changes when we praise the LORD!
What about you? Are you a complainer or a praiser?