Monday, January 30, 2012
You Want Some Cheese with that Whine?
Here is the way it usually happens. We complain because we do not have a job. Then, when God gives us a job, we complain because we don't a) like the hours b) like all that we are asked to do or c) we are not being paid enough for our work. Never mind that thousands don't have a job and would give anything to make something! The same goes for those who are workers at home. While homemakers are not paid for their work, they have the privilege of working at their own pace and setting their own agenda. However, we hear them complain about a) no one appreciates what I do b) no one helps me which leads in both cases (those with jobs or homemakers) to c) "poor me".
In the Bible, we see many verses that deal with this issue. Philippians 2:14 reads: "Do all things without grumbling or questioning." Ephesians 4:29: "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."
James 5:9: "Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the
Judge is standing at the door." These are just a few of the verses that warn us about the sin of whining and complaining. This is one area we need to work on daily. If we do not, there will always be consequences. For example, marriage relationships can be damaged when either husband or wife spends all their time complaining about what the other person is or is not doing. In working relationships, tension builds and leads to an unhappy atmosphere at work. Most importantly, our witness is damaged when we spend our day whining about all our problems as though no one else has any. So what are we to do?
Initially, we need to recognize that we are caught up in this web of sin. We must repent and ask for God's forgiveness but also for the Spirit's help in overcoming this area. We need to be able to say as the Apostle Paul did in his letter to the Philippians 4:11-12: "Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need." If anyone had the right to complain, it might have been Paul. He was beaten, shipwrecked,
bitten by a poisonous snake and imprisoned. However, he found God's grace to be sufficient in all circumstances, and he learned to be content. This needs to be a goal if we are ever to avoid complaining.
Finally, we have to recognize that in order to be a reflection of Jesus Christ to a world in need we must give up our rights and live in obedience to the Lord even as Jesus did. Paul wrote: "Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made; Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross" (Phil. 2:5-8). He is our example. We are to imitate
Him and reflect His glory. He died for us that we might have life and have it abundantly. How can we then complain and whine?
Certainly, life is not fair and there are many things in this sinful world which cause us pain. Nevertheless, our goal should be to praise Him through the storms. As we lift Him up, He will lift us up and give us hope. Likewise, we will have more fruitful relationships with others both at work and in our homes. After all, do we really want someone to ask us if we want some cheese with our whine? Selah!
I welcome your thoughts here. Please leave a comment or share how you have overcome complaining in your life. Blessings!